Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
41 documents - page 1 of 3

Mary E. "Mother" Tusch Collection

Creator:
Tusch, Mary E. "Mother"  Search this
Names:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
United States. Army School of Military Aeronautics  Search this
Byrd, Richard Evelyn, 1888-1957  Search this
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974  Search this
Rickenbacker, Eddie, 1890-1973  Search this
Tusch, Mary E. "Mother"  Search this
Extent:
5.51 Cubic feet (6 document boxes; 1 legal-size document box; 5 flat boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Ephemera
Date:
1915-1937
bulk 1917-1924
Summary:
The Mary E. "Mother" Tusch Collection reflects her interest in aviation. It consists of 12 boxes that contain photography, family documentation, news clippings and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
The Mary E. "Mother" Tusch Collection reflects her interest in aviation. It consists of 12 boxes that contain photography, family documentation, news clippings and scrapbooks. There are formal group and individual photographs as well as informal personal photographs of servicemen whom she had befriended and images signed by such famous aviators as Ruth Law and Earle Ovington. The collection contains photographs of the wallpaper from her Berkeley home which was signed by such aviation notables as Charles Lindbergh and Edward Rickenbacker. There are four scrapbooks that relate to her aviator friends and a fifth on World War I which includes photographs of trench warfare presented to "Mother" Tusch by John Pierson. This collection also contains photographs of "Mother" Tusch and her home; an inventory listing the aviation holdings of her home; guest books recording visitors to The Hangar, Shrine of the Air; and newspaper articles, museum plans, and correspondence relating to Tusch donating her collection to the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

"Mother" Tusch carried on correspondence with many of her aviator friends. One of these men, Bill Schneider, sent her a piece of what he claimed was the wreckage of Zeppelin LZ 129 "Hindenburg". The object and a photograph of Schneider and his correspondence to Tusch have been transferred to the Aeronautics Department of the National Air and Space Museum. Photocopies of these materials can be found in Box 7, Folder 3 of this collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged by subject. These subjects include Mary E. "Mother" Tusch, her family, The Hangar, Shrine of the Air, photographs of aviators and other materials relating to her life.
Biographical/Historical note:
Mary E. Tusch (1875-1960) was a great supporter of aviation and pilots. She lived across the street from the United States School of Military Aeronautics on the University of California's Berkeley Campus during World War I. She invited the young aviators to her home and became like a second mother to many of them. They nicknamed her "Mother Tusch" and her house became known as The Hangar, Shrine of the Air. Tusch was actively interested in aviation as well as those people associated with aeronautics, and her home reflected her love of aviation. She avidly collected aviation material including artifacts, photographs, and autographs from the aviators. She invited many of the aviators who visited her home to sign the wallpaper.

This collection came to the National Air and Space Museum partially as a result of family ties. Mrs. Tusch's daughter, Irene, married National Air Space Museum curator, Paul E. Garber, in the early 1950s.
Provenance:
Mary E. "Mother" Tusch, Gift, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0128, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Aeronautics -- Collectibles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Photographs
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Ephemera
Citation:
Mary E. "Mother" Tusch Collection, Acc. XXXX.0128, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0128
See more items in:
Mary E. "Mother" Tusch Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0128
Online Media:

Early Aeronautical News Clippings (Alexander Graham Bell) Collection

Creator:
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922  Search this
Beals, Jessie Tarbox  Search this
Names:
Aerial Experiment Association  Search this
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922  Search this
Extent:
23.64 Cubic feet (18 records center boxes; 1 11x17x3 flatbox)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Clippings
Date:
1903-1974
Summary:
The Early Aeronautical Newsclippings (Alexander Graham Bell) Collection (NASM.XXXX.0086) consists of 19 boxes of material about early aviation and aeronautics collected by Alexander Graham Bell between 1906 and 1912.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of newspaper clippings gathered by Dr. Bell during the early years of aviation. The material, compiled from American, British, French, and German papers, as well as others, covers a variety of subjects from balloon and airship ascents, air shows, races, and record flights, to accidents, technological developments, and applications. The collection ends with an album of photographs of the aeronautical exhibit at the Automobile Show held in New York in 1907. Supplemental indexes were created for the collection at later times.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged by in the following series:

1. Scrapbooks

2. Indexes

3. Photographs
Biographical / Historical:
Although best known as the inventor of the telephone, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) expressed an interest in a wide range of activities, including aviation. By the turn of the 20th century he was experimenting with kites and kite structures, including his famous tetrahedral kite "Cygnus," which carried a man aloft in 1907 and was intended to be fitted with a motor. Bell supported the experiments of Samuel Langley from 1891 on, and had some influence in obtaining War Department funding for Langley's aeronautical work. After the successful flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903 he formed, with Glenn H. Curtiss, F. W. Baldwin, J. A. D. McCurdy, and Lt. T. Selfridge, the Aerial Experimental Association, which experimented with a number of flying machines before the founders dissolved the group in 1909. Bell's contributions to aeronautics are reflected in his being issued nine patents for various advances in "aerial vehicles" and "flying machines."
Provenance:
No donor information, NASM.XXXX.0086, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Citation:
Early Aeronautical Newsclippings (Alexander Graham Bell) Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0086, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0086
See more items in:
Early Aeronautical News Clippings (Alexander Graham Bell) Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0086
Online Media:

Harold E. Morehouse Flying Pioneers Biographies collection

Creator:
Morehouse, Harold E., 1894-1973  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Morehouse, Harold E., 1894-1973  Search this
Extent:
4.36 Cubic feet (4 records center boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Manuscripts
Date:
circa 1960s-1970s
Summary:
This collection consists of 355 biographies written by Harold E. Morehouse and intended for publication. These biographies discuss Morehouse's fellow early aviation pioneers, many of whom belong to the Early Birds, an organization open to those who soloed before December 17, 1916. Each biography discusses the subject's life and the majority of biographies include a photograph of the individual.
Contents note:
The Harold E. Morehouse Flying Pioneers Biographies Collection (accession XXXX-0450) contains approximately four cubic feet of material. It is also known as The Harold and Marvel Morehouse Aviation Pioneers Collection. The collection includes photographs, negatives, and typewritten material.
Arrangement note:
Container List: Series I: Biographies of Flying Pioneers; Series II: Miscellaneous related materials; Series III: Oversized materials
Biographical note:
This collection consists of over 350 short biographies of early aviation's trailblazers written by Harold E. Morehouse (1894-1973). Conspicuous by its absence is a biography of the author, himself an innovator.

Born in Michigan, Morehouse channelled a youthful fascination with flight into training in the field of mechanical engineering. He began work in 1915 for the Van Blerck Motor Company and assisted in their development of aircraft engines. In 1917, Morehouse was working as a layout draftsman on the Standard J-1 Training Airplane for the Dayton-Wright Aeroplane Company. However, this assignment was quickly superseded by his placement on a secret project, supervised by C.F. Kettering and Orville Wright. Its aim was the production of a selfflying aerial torpedo which has since become known as the Kettering Bug. Morehouse contributed to all phases of this project, including its design, engine development and flight testing. The armistice arrived before the actual deployment of the Bug; Morehouse was to spend the next few years in engine design and development.

In 1925, Morehouse joined the Wright Aeronautical Corporation and both the Wright-Morehouse engine and the Wright-Whirlwind J-5 (a re-design of the J-4) were developed here under Morehouse. The latter engine was later to serve as the powerplant for the historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight of the Spirit of St. Louis and this was a great source of satisfaction to Morehouse. He left Wright Aero in 1929 and in subsequent years designed the inverted Rover for the Michigan Aero Engine Company, the A-50 for the Continental Motors Corporation and the Engineering and Research Corporation's Erco engine.

About ten years prior to his retirement in 1965, Harold Morehouse began work on a personal project. His aim was to gather information on significant contributors to early aviation and distill this data to produce a set of brief biographies of these innovative men and women. He was assisted in this by his wife, Marvel Dyer. After Harold's death, Marvel worked in concert with Paul E. Garber of the National Air Museum to procure publication of the work. Sadly, the passing of Marvel Dyer and later of Paul Garber seemed to bring plans for publication to a halt.

This collection consists of hundreds of biographical narratives concerning the lives of the "Flying Pioneers." Many of those featured were members of the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc., a group whose members had the distinction of having soloed prior to 1916. Most of the biographies are accompanied by one or more photographs of their subject and comprise an invaluable resource on the accomplishments and sacrifices of those intrepid individuals who forged the history of American aviation. However, it should be borne in mind that the biographies are based in large measure on personal interviews and are concerned primarily with their subjects' careers in aviation.

Other sources should be consulted to obtain a complete portrait.
Provenance:
Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Morehouse, gift, 1960-1972, XXXX-0450, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Manuscripts
Citation:
Harold E. Morehouse Flying Pioneers Biographies Collection, Acc. XXXX-0450, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0450
See more items in:
Harold E. Morehouse Flying Pioneers Biographies collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0450
Online Media:

Charles Arens Scrapbooks

Creator:
Arens, Charles A., 1895-1967  Search this
Names:
Arens Controls, Inc.  Search this
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
LWF Engineering Co.  Search this
National Air Races  Search this
Arens, Charles A., 1895-1967  Search this
Laird, E. M.  Search this
Weaver, George E. "Buck", 1895-1924  Search this
Extent:
1.05 Cubic feet (4 flatboxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Publications
Scrapbooks
Business cards
Date:
1911-1960
Summary:
This collection consists of four albums and some additional material including photographs (many of which appear to be originals); news clippings; catalogues and advertisements; event programs; and other ephemera.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of four albums and some additional material including photographs (many of which appear to be originals); news clippings; catalogues and advertisements; event programs; and other ephemera. The collection includes images of aircraft and pilots with whom Charles Arens worked or came into contact with during his working years, and some of the photographs have been autographed. Also included are images of many aircraft at the Cicero and Ashburn Fields in Chicago; photographs taken at the 1930, 1931 and 1932 National Air Races; aerial photography; images of airships including the U. S. Navy ZR-3 Los Angeles; and some U.S. Army Signal Corps photographs. There is a considerable amount of material relating to Arens Controls Company, Inc. in Volume D, as well as in additional items that were added to the collection in 2006.

Aircraft seen in the photographs include numerous models of aircraft made by Curtiss, LWF, and Laird ("Matty") and many other aircraft including the Sperry Messenger; Sperry Curtiss JN-4 Monoplane; Verville (Alfred) VCP-R (R-1); Thomas-Morse S-4C; Standard (NJ) Handley Page O/400; Burnelli (Remington-Burnelli) RB-1; John's Multiplane (1920); Ansaldo S.V.A.; SPAD XIII (S.13); Nieuport 27; Martin (Glenn L.) MB-2; Fokker T-2 (F.IV); Stinson (Aircraft) SM-1 Detroiter; Ireland Meteor; Loening (Corp) OL-1; Ryan NYP Spirit of St Louis; Lockheed Model 5 Vega Yankee Doodle; Bellanca WB-2 Miss Columbia; Fokker C-2, Civil America; Breguet Bre.19 A2 Nungesser-Coli; Boeing Model 80A; Sikorsky S-38B Amphibion untin Bowler; Howard (Benjamin O.) DGA-3 Pete; Lockheed Model 8 Sirius Tingmissartoq; Springfield Bulldog (V High Wing Racing); Wedell-Williams Model 44 I (NR 278V) (Race #s: 44, 91); Chester (Art) Goon; Robinson (W. C.) Monoplane; Curtiss NC-3 and NC-4 (P2N-1); and the Vought VE-10.

Besides Arens himself, other notable figures in aviation that are seen in the photographs include Laura Bromwell; Bertrand Blanchard Acosta; Russell L. Maughan; Alford Joseph "Al" Williams; Harold James Brow; Lillian Boyer Werner; William S. "Billy" Brock; Perry Hutton; Henry S. "Pop" Keller; Charles Augustus Lindbergh; Anne Spencer Morrow Lindbergh; Richard Reginald Blythe; Arthur C. "Art" Goebel; Ruth Elder; Lloyd W. Bertaud; Guiseppe Mario Bellanca; Charles W. "Speed" Holman; Erwin E. "Eddy" Ballough; Emil Matthew Laird; Joseph Le Brix; Dieudonné Costes; Clarence Duncan Chamberlin; Robert F. "Bob" Shank; Florence Klingensmith; Arthur Charles Chester; Will D. "Billy" Parker; Anthony "Tony" Stadlman; Stanley Van Winkle Hiller; Robert G. Fowler; Warren Samuel Eaton; Leslie L. Irvin; Benjamin Delahauf Foulois; Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold; James Harold "Jimmy" Doolittle; Roscoe Turner; Otto W. Timm; Overton M. "Rusty" Bounds; Katherine (Otero) Stinson; Arthur R. "Art" Smith; Mickey McGuire; Marjorie C. Stinson; Victor Carlstom; Charles B. Kirkham; George E. "Buck" Weaver; Henry B. Crewdson; Edward Albert "Al" Johnson; Charles W. "Pop" Dickinson; Joseph Lee Cato; and Harold W. Blakely.
Arrangement:
Albums are labeled in sequence with a letter code and they are housed in this order. Additional material added to the collection in 2006 is housed at the end.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Anthony Arens (1895-1967), an early aviation enthusiast, was active in aviation from 1911 until the end of his life. He was active at the Cicero Flying Field (1912-1919) and the new Ashburn Field (1916) in Chicago. He worked with E. M. Laird and George "Buck" Weaver of Waco Aircraft. He built and flew a biplane in 1915 which qualified him for membership in the Early Birds. He was elected secretary of the Early Birds in 1960 and was active in this organization until his death. In December 1916, Arens went to work for the LWF Engineering Company, College Point, Long Island, as a mechanic. He worked for LWF until they went out of business in 1923. He held A&E Mechanic License No. 240. In 1923 he went to work for the E. M. Laird Airplane Company. He later developed a control system for aircraft. He formed his own company in 1923, and provided controls for early Ford and Boeing aircraft. He opened his own plant in 1934, and founded Arens Controls Company, Inc. in 1939. He was also secretary of the E. M. Laird Airplane Company, which provided control systems for many World War II aircraft. Arens sold his interest in the company in 1944. He later formed a company to do engineering work.
Provenance:
Charles Arens, Gift, 1971, NASM.XXXX.0016
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautical engineers  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Photographs
Publications
Scrapbooks
Business cards
Citation:
Charles Arens Scrapbooks, NASM.XXXX.0016, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0016
See more items in:
Charles Arens Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0016
Online Media:

Samuel P. Langley Collection

Creator:
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Names:
Chanute, Octave, 1832-1910  Search this
Herring, Augustus Moore, 1867-1926  Search this
Huffaker, Edward C., 1856-1937  Search this
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Manly, Charles Matthews, 1876-1927  Search this
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903  Search this
Extent:
24.28 Cubic feet (64 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Drawings
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Date:
1891-1914
bulk 1891-1900
Summary:
This collection includes information about Samuel P. Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence, manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for the Aerodromes, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, the Langley Memoirs on Mechanical Flight and the Langley "Waste Books."
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes information about Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes the Aerodrome project waste books, biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence), manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for staff labor on the project, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, and manuscript material from the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight.

The National Air and Space Museum's Samuel P. Langley Collection was drawn from several sources in the Smithsonian Institution. Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003) for several purposes:

Design papers and notes from Langley's aerodrome project were used for restoring the Langley Aerodromes for exhibits beginning in 1917.

Correspondence from the papers was consulted when controversies arose between the Wright brothers and the Smithsonian, and over credit for the design of the motor built by Stephen M. Balzer and extensively modified by Charles Manly, which was used on Aerodrome A.

Technical drawings of the Aerodromes were drawn from the SIA in the 1970s for conservation purposes.

Other material was added to the collection over the years:

Correspondence, memoranda, notes and label scripts from Langley exhibits from 1913 through the 1960s.

Design notes and work records from Langley's workshop were stored with the Aerodromes in the Museum's collections, and were later transferred to the Archives Division.

Biographical material on Langley, and correspondence to the Museum on Langley and the Aerodromes.

Material from the foundation of the Langley Aerodynamic Laboratory (now NASA's Langley Research Center) in 1913.

In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:

Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.

Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907

Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.

The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
The Samuel P. Langley Collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1 - Waste Books: Langley and his staff used waste books - bound ledgers - to keep records of their work on the aeronautical projects, which Langley inspected frequently.

Series 2 - Scrapbooks: A collection of 18 scrapbooks containing newspaper and magazine clippings on "Aerial Navigation". Projects by Langley, Maxim, Lilienthal and many obscure aeronautical experimenters are included. Other clippings are included in Series VIII and XI.

Series 3 - Aeronautical Research and the Aerodromes: This series consists of notes, data, drawings and memoranda from Langley's aeronautical research at both the Smithsonian and the Allegheny Observatory. Subseries 2 contains material used in various Smithsonian exhibitions of the Langley Aerodromes. Some additional material is included in Series 11.

Subseries 3.1 - Design and Construction

Subseries 3.2 - Langley Aerodrome Exhibits

Series 4 - Correspondence: Letters and memoranda written by and sent to S. P. Langley and his assistants, C. M. Manly and J. E. Watkins. Additional correspondence is included in Series 11.

Subseries 4.1 - S. P. Langley Correspondence

Subseries 4.2 - S. P. Langley's Assistants' Correspondence

Subseries 3 - Miscellaneous Correspondence

Series 5 - Manuscripts, Papers, Articles: Manuscripts, published articles and papers by Langley and others. See also Series 11.

Subseries 5.1 - Works by S. P. Langley

Subseries 5.2 - Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Articles, and Notes

Series 6 - Photographs: Photographs, mainly of Langley's Aerodromes. Additional photographs are included with Series 11.

Series 7 - Trade Catalogues and Ephemera: Trade catalogues and price lists from various suppliers and dealers found stored with the "Aerodrome A" at the Museum's Paul E. Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Series 8 - Miscellaneous Files

Series 9 - Flat Boxes and Oversized Material: Ledgers, drawings, test data, publications

Series 10 - Shorthand Diaries: A collection of 37 notebooks containing notes in an unidentified shorthand system, dating from 1898 to 1902, with 8 notebooks bearing partial dates or undated.

Series 11 - Additional Material: After the publication of the Langley Collection finding aid, two additional boxes of correspondence, manuscript material, drawings and photographs were found in the Museum's rare book room, the Ramsey Room. This material has been included as a separate series.
Biographical / Historical:
Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) was an astronomer, a pioneer of aeronautical research, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1887-1906). As a young man, Langley studied civil engineering and pursued this as a career until 1864, when his interest in astronomy led him to positions at the Harvard Observatory, the Naval Academy, the Western University of Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh. In 1887, Langley was named Secretary of the Smithsonian, and spent the following years in the research, construction and tests of flying machines. On May 6, 1896, his unpiloted Aerodrome No. 5, powered by a 1hp steam engine, flew nearly three quarters of a mile. This flight surpassed by more than ten times the best efforts of any predecessor. In 1898, at the request of the Army's Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, Langley started work on another design - the Great Aerodrome, also known as Aerodrome A. However, two attempts at launching the aircraft in 1903 failed. In addition to his scientific experiments, Langley's writings include Experiments in Aerodynamics and The Internal Work of the Wind, and the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, published posthumously. Samuel P. Langley died in Aiken, South Carolina, on February 27, 1906.

A Timeline of Early Aeronautical Milestones and Samuel P. Langley's Life and Career

August 22, 1834 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley born to Samuel Langley and Mary Sumner Williams Langley in Roxbury Massachusetts.

1843 -- William Henson and John Stringfellow publish their design for the "Aeriel", a steam-powered "Aerial Steam Carriage".

1845 -- Langley begins to attend the Boston Latin School.

1847 -- Henson tests a model of his aircraft.

1848 -- Stringfellow and Henson build and test a steam powered model aircraft. It has a wingspan of 10 feet (3.5 meters), and it flies 131 feet (40 meters) before crashing into a wall.

1849 -- Sir George Cayley tests a towed triplane glider. In one test, it flies several yards with a local boy as a passenger.

1851 -- Langley graduates from the Boston High School; begins work as an apprentice with a Boston architect.

circa 1852-1864 -- Langley works for architectural and engineering firms in St. Louis and Chicago.

1853 -- Cayley's coachman flies a glider across Brompton Dale, Yorkshire. The coachman resigns his position after the flight. Cayley conceives the rubber band–powered model airplane. Michel Loup designs a powered twin propeller monoplane with a wheeled undercarriage.

1853-1854 -- L C. Letur tests his parachute-glider design. Letur is killed in a test flight in 1854.

1855 -- Joseph Pline coins the word "aeroplane" to describe a propeller-driven dirigible.

1857 -- Jean-Marie Le Bris, a sea captain inspired by the flight of the albatross, builds a glider he names the "Albatros Artificiel" and makes two short hops, breaking his leg in the second. Félix du Temple, a French naval officer, flies a clockwork model aircraft - the first sustained powered flights by a heavier-than-air machine.

1862 -- Gabriel de la Landelle coins the word "aviation", and later, "aviateur" - aviator.

1864 -- Langley returns to Roxbury. He begins work, with his younger brother John, on a five foot focal length telescope, which they complete over three years.

1864-1865 -- Samuel and John Langley tour Europe.

circa 1865 -- Langley is hired as observatory assistant at the Harvard University Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

January 1866 -- The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (later named the Royal Aeronautical Society) is founded.

circa 1866 -- Langley is hired as assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Duties include restoring the Academy's astronomical observatory to operation.

1867 -- Langley is named professor of Astronomy and Physics at the Western University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. Duties include directorship of the Allegheny Observatory. His tenure at Allegheny will begin his work at the popularization of science through lectures and writing newspaper and journal articles.

1868 -- Stringfellow builds a model triplane.

1869 -- Langley proposes a system of standard time distribution via the telegraph to railroads and cities. The Pennsylvania Railroad signs on for the service. Langley joins a U.S. Coast Survey expedition to Oakland, Kentucky, to observe the August 7th solar eclipse. He observes later eclipses in 1870, 1878, and 1900.

1870 -- The Allegheny Observatory begins twice-daily time signals to the Pennsylvania Railroad's offices. Other railroads, businesses, and government offices later subscribe to the service. The income from the system aids the operation of the Allegheny Observatory and Langley's research work. Langley travels to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, to observe a solar eclipse.

1870 -- Alphonse Pénaud designs his rubber-powered "Hélicoptère".

August 18, 1871 -- Pénaud demonstrates his "Planophore", a rubber-powered model, at the Tuileries, Paris. It flies 40 meters (approximately 131 feet) in 11 seconds.

1871 -- Francis Wenham designs the first wind tunnel; it is built by John Browning.

1873 -- Langley makes a detailed drawing of a sun spot. Famous for its accuracy of detail, the drawing is widely reproduced for many years.

1876 -- Pénaud and Paul Gauchot patent a design for an inherently stable steam-powered full-sized airplane.

1878 -- Bishop Milton Wright presents a toy based on the Pénaud "Hélicoptère" to two of his sons – eleven year old Wilbur and seven year old Orville.

1879-1880 -- Langley designs and builds his bolometer for the measurement of the energy of incident electromagnetic radiation.

1879 -- Victor Tatin designs and flies a compressed air-powered seven foot long model.

1881 -- Langley organizes an expedition to Mount Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada Range for solar observations and other scientific studies.

1883 -- Alexandre Goupil builds a bird-shaped unpowered airplane that briefly lifts off in a tethered test while carrying two men.

1884 -- The U.S. Signal Service publishes Langley's report on the Mount Whitney expedition.

1886 -- Langley's interest in aeronautics is kindled by a paper on bird flight by a Mr. Lancaster at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Buffalo, New York. Lancaster also describes making small flying models which he describes as "floating planes" and "effigies".

1887 -- Langley designs and builds his large whirling table at the Allegheny Observatory for the study of aerodynamics; begins aeronautical experimental work. He coins the term Aerodromics for the art of building flying machines from the Greek aerodromoi.

January 12, 1887 -- Langley is appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

April 1887 -- Langley begins to build small Pénaud type rubber-powered flying models.

November 18, 1887 -- Langley is named Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on the death of Secretary Spencer F. Baird. He retains the directorship of the Allegheny Observatory, dividing his time between Washington and Allegheny until 1891 when James E. Keeler becomes director of the observatory.

1887 -- Hiram Maxim, an American living in Great Britain and inventor of the Maxim machine gun, begins work on a large powered biplane test rig.

1888 -- Langley publishes The New Astronomy.

1889 -- The National Zoological Park is founded, due to Langley's support. A site in Washington's Rock Creek Park is selected by Langley and Frederick Law Olmstead. The Zoo becomes part of the Smithsonian in 1890, and is opened in 1891.

1890 -- Langley founds the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; its first home is in a wooden building behind the Smithsonian Castle. In 1955, SAO moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1890 -- Clément Ader completes his "Éole', a full-sized airplane. It has a fifty foot wing span, and is equipped with a lightweight 20-horsepower steam engine of Ader's design and a four-bladed propeller. At Armainvilliers on October 9, the Éole lifts off the ground to an altitude of approximately one foot and skims the ground for about 50 meters (165 feet). Ader later claims a second flight of 100 meters in September, 1891; there is no evidence for the second flight.

March 28, 1891 -- First successful flight of one of Langley's rubber-powered models.

1891 -- Work begins on Langley's "Aerodrome No. 0", powered by two small steam engines. Construction is halted before the aircraft is completed.

1891 -- Otto Lilienthal, a German mechanical engineer, begins a program of flight research using piloted hang gliders of his own design. He and his brother Gustav will go on to design and build 18 gliders over the next five years, making approximately 2,000 flights. Langley's Experiments in Aerodynamics is published by the Smithsonian.

1892 -- Langley's "Aerodrome No. 1" designed and built. Not flown.

1892-1893 -- "Aerodrome No. 2" and "Aerodrome No. 3" are designed and built. "No. 3" is powered by compressed air. Neither is flown.

1893 -- A 38 foot scow is converted into a houseboat with a workshop and launch platform for Aerodrome testing. In May, it is towed down the Potomac to a point near Quantico, Virginia, off Chopawamsic Island. In November, "Aerodrome No. 4" is taken to the houseboat for testing.

November 20, 1893 -- Test flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" - it falls in the water.

December 7, 1893 -- Second flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" – it falls in the water.

July 31, 1894 -- Maxim's large test rig rises briefly from its support rails during a test run.

August 1-4, 1894 -- Octave Chanute and Albert Zahm sponsor the Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, bringing together an international assembly of aeronautical researchers.

October 1894 -- Test flight of modified "Aerodrome No. 4", using improved catapult. Aircraft falls in the water. "Aerodrome No. 5", with a one horsepower gasoline burning steam engine, is also tested. It flies 35 feet for three seconds before stalling and falling into the river.

November 12, 1894 -- Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian researcher, links together four of his box kites, adds a simple seat, and flies to an altitude of 16 feet in the device.

1894 -- Chanute publishes his book Progress in Flying Machines.

1895 -- James Means publishes the first of his three >Aeronautical Annuals.

May 6, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is launched from the houseboat's catapult; the left wing collapses and the aircraft lands in the water. Aerodrome No. 5 is launched at 3:05 PM and flies about half a mile in a minute and a half at an altitude reaching 100 feet – the first sustained flight of a heavier than air apparatus. In a second flight at 5:10, Aerodrome No. 5 makes three circles, climbs to about 60 feet, and is airborne for one minute and thirty-one seconds. The flight is witnessed and photographed by Alexander Graham Bell (box 45, folder 9).

June 1896 -- Chanute and Augustus Herring establish a camp at the Lake Michigan dunes near Miller, Indiana to conduct flight tests on a number of gliders – several of Chanute's designs, including his multiwing "Katydid", Herring's copy of a Lilienthal design, and a Chanute-Herring triplane collaboration.

August 9, 1896 -- Lilienthal's glider stalls and crashes from an altitude of about 50 feet. Lilienthal dies of his injuries the next morning. His last words are "Opfer müssen gebracht warden" - "Sacrifices must be made".

November 28, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is flown from the houseboat – it flies 4800 feet in one minute and forty-five seconds.

July 1897 -- Ader completes his "Avion III", also known as the "Aquilon". It features two 20-horsepower steam engines and twin tractor propellers, and a wingspan of nearly 56 feet. The aircraft weighs approximately 880 pounds. Ader attempts a flight on October 14; "Avion III" is unable to rise off the ground.

March 25, 1898 -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt suggests the military use of the Langley "Aerodrome" to Navy Secretary John D. Long (box 40, folder 10).

April 6, 1898 -- Langley proposes a scaled-up version of the "Aerodrome" for military use to a joint Army-Navy board meeting at the Smithsonian. He requests $50,000 to build a large, piloted version of his earlier designs. The proposed aircraft is called the "Great Aerodrome", or "Aerodrome A".

June 1898 -- Charles M. Manly, a Cornell University engineering student, is hired as Langley's "assistant in charge of experiments".

October 1898 -- Major work begins on the "Great Aerodrome", also known as "Aerodrome A".

December 12, 1898 -- A contract is signed between Langley and Stephen M. Balzer of New York. Balzer is to design and build a 12 horsepower motor to power the "Aerodrome". On the same date, Langley writes to the U.S. Army Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, agreeing to design and build a flying machine. He estimates a cost of $50,000 to build his machine.

May 1899 -- A new, larger houseboat equipped with a turntable and catapult is delivered in Washington.

May 30, 1899 -- Wilbur Wright sends a letter to Langley at the Smithsonian, requesting material pertaining to aeronautical research. He says in his letter that he wishes "… to begin a systematic study of the subject in preparation for practical work." Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Richard Rathbun directs his staff to assemble a package of papers, including Langley's Story of Experiments in Mechanical Flight and Experiments in Aerodynamics. The Wright brothers receive the package three weeks later. They later credit the material they received from the Smithsonian with giving them a "good understanding of the nature of the problem of flying."

June 7 - August 3, 1899 -- Additional flights of "Aerodrome No. 5" and "No. 6" are made from the houseboat at Chopawamsic Island.

July 1899 -- Langley visits Ader's workshop in Paris.

July 1899 -- The Wright Brothers build a five foot biplane kite.

October 2, 1899 -- Percy Pilcher dies of his injury after his Lilienthal-type glider breaks up in flight.

May 1900 -- Langley and the staff of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory observe the May 28 solar eclipse in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

August 1900 -- The Wrights begin to build their first glider, a biplane design with a 17 foot wingspan.

September 1900 -- The Wrights arrive at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to test their glider on the dunes. They begin test flights in early October.

July 1901 -- The Wrights return to Kitty Hawk with a new biplane glider.

August 1901 -- Langley creates the Children's Room, with exhibits designed to inspire interest in science, technology and natural history, in the Smithsonian Castle.

Autumn 1901 -- The Wright brothers return to Dayton and begin a program to develop their own fundamental aeronautical data, building a wind tunnel and a test rig mounted on a bicycle.

September 19, 1902 -- The Wrights complete assembly of their new glider and begin flights the same afternoon. They continue the flights through the autumn. After an early crash, continual modifications improve the design. Wilbur writes to his father, "We now believe the flying problem is really nearing its solution." On their return to Dayton, the brothers file a patent on their design.

July 14, 1903 -- The houseboat is towed down the Potomac to a spot opposite Widewater, Virginia, about 40 miles from Washington.

August 8, 1903 -- Langley's "Quarter-Size Aerodrome" makes a successful flight from the houseboat.

September 3, 1903 -- Work is begun on erecting the "Great Aerodrome" on the houseboat catapult.

October 7, 1903 -- The "Great Aerodrome", piloted by Manly, is launched by the houseboat catapult at 12:20 PM. The aircraft is snagged by the catapult launch car, and drops into the river. Langley was in Washington, and does not witness the attempt. The wreckage of the "Aerodrome" is salvaged.

December 8, 1903 -- The refurbished "Great Aerodrome" is readied for flight on the houseboat, now moored below Washington at Arsenal Point at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. At 4:45 PM, the aircraft, with Manly at the controls, is launched. The tail assembly drags along the launch track, and the "Aerodrome's" tail begins to collapse. The "Aerodrome" drops into the river. Manly is briefly trapped by the wreckage, but cuts himself free and is rescued. In the aftermath of the crash, Langley is ridiculed in the press. Though the Army withdraws its support, Langley receives offers of financial support from businessmen to continue his aeronautical work. He politely refuses these offers and ends his aeronautical activities.

December 17, 1903 -- The Wright brothers make four flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The first flight covered a distance of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds; in the fourth flight, the "Flyer" traveled 852 feet in 59 seconds.

June 1905 -- The Smithsonian's accountant, W. W. Karr, is accused of embezzling Institutional funds. He is later convicted and imprisoned. Langley holds himself responsible for the loss, and thereafter refuses to accept his salary.

November 1905 -- Langley suffers a stroke.

February 1906 -- Langley moves to Aiken, South Carolina to convalesce.

February 27, 1906 -- After suffering another stroke, Langley dies.

March 3, 1906 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Boston.

May-October 1914 -- The "Great Aerodrome" is refurbished and is tested on Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, New York; the tests are conducted by Glenn Curtiss. Using the Manly-Balzer motor and mounted on pontoons instead of using a catapult launch, the "Aerodrome" makes several short flights, the longest lasting about five seconds. Later a Curtiss 80-hp engine is substituted for the Manly-Balzer motor and a flight of about 3,000 feet is made on September 17. The Smithsonian Institution later displays the "Aerodrome" with an exhibit label that reads "The first man-carrying aeroplane in the history of the world capable of sustained free flight." This claim causes a rift between the Institution and Orville Wright (Wilber Wright had died in 1912) that is not fully mended until 1942. The Wright 1903 "Flyer" is presented to the Smithsonian Institution on December 17, 1948. Today, the "Flyer" is on exhibit in the Milestones of Flight Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum's Mall Building; Samuel Langley's "Great Aerodrome" is displayed at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff:
Langley's staff engaged in his aeronautical work as listed in waste books, drawings and correspondence:

The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff

F. C. Bache -- Laborer with the U.S. Fish Commission, then located at the Smithsonian.

Carl Barus -- Formerly of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Weather Bureau. Hired in 1893 as a physicist; acted as the liaison between Langley and the Aerodrome project staff. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

Louville Eugene Emerson -- Laborer.

George L. Fowler -- An engineer, Fowler was hired by Langley to help design an engine for the Aerodromes.

William Gaertner -- Instrument maker.

Heed, Jr. -- Name found in a shorthand diary dated 1899 - presumably, a Smithsonian secretary or assistant.

Augustus Moore Herring -- An independent aeronautical experimenter and skilled designer and pilot of gliders; hired by Octave Chanute in 1894 and by Langley as chief assistant in 1895. Herring resigned (or was dismissed) in November 1895 and resumed work with Chanute. In 1908, he competed with the Wrights for the Army Flyer contract, but did not complete a finished aircraft.

Edward Chalmers Huffaker -- An engineer and aeronautical experimenter; built gliders based on the observation of bird flight; had delivered a paper at the International Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, 1893. Recommended by Chanute, Huffaker was hired by Langley in December, 1894. He resigned from the Smithsonian in 1898 and went to work for Chanute.

L. C. Maltby -- Machinist, 1891-1899; assisted in motor design and oversaw the fabrications of the metalwork for the Aerodromes. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

Charles Matthews Manly -- Graduate of Cornell University (1896). Hired by Langley and placed in charge of construction of the Great Aerodrome in 1898. Piloted the Great Aerodrome on its two launch attempts, 1903. Manly resigned from the Smithsonian in 1905. He served as a consulting aviation engineer for different government agencies and corporations, including the British War Office, 1915; the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation 1915-1919 (from 1919-1920 as the assistant general manger); and as a member of the US Commission to the International Aircraft Conference, London, 1918. Manly also completed and edited Langley's Memoir on Mechanical Flight which was published by the Smithsonian in 1911.

Charles B. Nichols -- Smithsonian cabinet maker (1890-1893), in charge of construction of the small rubber powered models.

R. Luther Reed -- Smithsonian carpenter foreman (1880-1904). In charge of construction of Aerodromes No. 5 and 6 following between Herring's departure and Manly's arrival. Worked on design of the Great Aerodrome and the second houseboat. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

B.L. Rhinehart -- Smithsonian mechanic. Built a small steam motor for Aerodrome No. 0 in 1891. Performed design work on an experimental gasoline motor, c.1896.

William L. Speiden -- Draftsman or designer (1893-1899).

John Elfrith Watkins -- Assistant engineer of construction with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Joined the Smithsonian as an honorary curator in the Steam Transportation section in 1885. Named curator of Transportation in 1887. He rejoined the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1892, and later worked at the Field Columbian Museum as director of Industrial Arts. Watkins returned to the Smithsonian in 1895 as the National Museum's curator of Technological Collections. In 1898, he was named curator of the Division of Technology. Watkins also served the Smithsonian as Engineer of Property, 1888-1889, and Chief of Buildings and Superintendence, 1896-1903. Watkins carried on much of the Aerodrome project's correspondence, and was the project's expert in steam engine design.

George B. Wells -- Smithsonian messenger (1894-1903). Most of the collection's shorthand notebooks (Series X) bear his name; possibly, he acted as Langley's stenographer.

William Crawford Winlock -- Curator, Bureau of International Exchange (1889-1899).
Related Materials:
Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Samuel Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003).

In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:

Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.

Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907

Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.

The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.

Langley Technical Files: The Archives Division's technical files are housed in the Archives-Library reading room of the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Material on Langley and his Aerodromes are housed in folders in the technical files Aircraft Series and in the Biographies Series. Because material from the Samuel P. Langley Collection is thought to have been transferred into the Technical Files, these file headings are included here. In the listings, "Images Available" refers to digital image files available through the Archives Division's image database; these images may be viewed in the Museum's reading rooms.

Langley Technical Files: Aircraft Series Technical Files

Langley (Samuel P.), General -- Photos, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198600-80

Langley (Samuel P.), General, NASM -- Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198601-80, AL-198601-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A (Great Aerodrome, Man-Carrying Aerodrome) -- Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198603-01, AL-198603-80, AL-198603-85, AL-198603-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, Curtiss 1914 Rebuild -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198605-01, AL-198605-80, AL-198605-96, AL-198605-97, AL-198605-98, AL-198605-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, NASM -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198607-01, AL-198607-80, AL-198607-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodromes, Numbered, General -- Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198610-80, AL-198610-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 0 (1891) -- Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198612-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 1 (1891) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 2 (1892) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 3 (1892) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 4 (1895) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96) -- Documents, Photos, Transparencies, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198622-01, AL-198622-80, AL-198622-90, AL-198622-98, AL-198622-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 6 (1895-96) -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198624-01, AL-198624-80, AL-198624-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Clockwork Model -- Photos. Folder(s): AL-198628-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Gliding Model Aerodromes (1895) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Ladder Kite (1896) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198635-80, AL-198635-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodromes, General -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198640-01, AL-198640-80, AL-198640-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 4 (1895) -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198648-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 11 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 13 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 14 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 15 -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198670-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 19 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198678-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 20 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 21 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 22 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198684-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 23 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198686-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 24 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 25 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 26 -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198692-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 27 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 28 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198696-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 30 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 31 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Proposed Man-Carrying Aerodrome (1898-99) -- Documents, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198710-01, AL-198710-99

Langley (Samuel P.) "Quarter-Size" Aerodrome (1900-01 -- Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198720-01, AL-198720-80, AL-198720-85, AL-198720-99

Langley (Samuel P.) "Rubber-Pull" Model Aerodrome (1895-96) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198730-80, AL-198730-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Whirling Arm (1888-90) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198740-80, AL-198740-99

Langley Technical Files: Biographies Series Technical Files

Langley, Samuel Pierpont, general -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-01

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-02

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-03

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-04

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-05

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-06

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Rocket) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-08

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/French) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-09

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-10

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-11

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-12

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-13

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-14

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Awards and Honors) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-15

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Wright Controversy) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-16

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Obituaries) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-17

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photo Dupes. Folder(s): CL-094000-40

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photos. Folder(s): CL-094000-80

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Negatives. Folder(s): CL-094000-85

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Images available.
Provenance:
Smithsonian generated, transfer, unknown.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permission Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- pre-1903  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Langley Aerodrome Family  Search this
Langley Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96)  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Drawings
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Citation:
Samuel P. Langley Collection, NASM.XXXX.0494, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0494
See more items in:
Samuel P. Langley Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0494
Online Media:

Stephen Balzer Correspondence

Creator:
Balzer, Stephen M.  Search this
Names:
Balzer, Stephen M.  Search this
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Manly, Charles Matthews, 1876-1927  Search this
Rathbun, Richard, 1852-1918  Search this
Extent:
0.56 Cubic feet ((1 16x20x3 flatbox))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Financial records
Date:
1898-1962
bulk 1899-1932
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of correspondence between Stephen Balzer and S.P. Langley, Richard Rathbun, Charles M. Manley, and others pertaining to the 52-HP Radial Engine he designed. In addition Balzer designed and built the first automobile to run in New York City, which was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution. Balzer's engine-building ability came to the attention of Langley in 1898, who decided that a gasoline engine would be more practical for his proposed man-carrying airplane than a steam power plant. There are five items that have no date, including a voucher for payments to Balzer by the Smithsonian Institution, a summary of the engine's progress by Balzer, and the cover of a mail package from V.W. Balzer to Philip S. Hopkins (NAM).
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
No Donor information, XXXX-0129, Unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Langley-Manly-Balzer Aero Engine of 1903 5-Cyl. Radial  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Financial records
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0129
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0129

Wright Brothers Collection

Names:
Coffyn, Frank, 1878-1960  Search this
Ford, Henry, 1863-1947  Search this
Jones, Ernest La Rue, 1883-1955  Search this
Peterkin, C. R.  Search this
See, James Waring, 1850-1920.  Search this
Upson, Ralph Hazlett, 1888-1968  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (1 slim legal document box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Sketches
Date:
1909-1945
Summary:
This collection consists mostly of correspondence between the Wright brothers and the following people: J.W. See; Ralph H. Upson; Henry Ford; Ernest Jones; Frank Coffyn; O.G. Simmons; C.R. Peterkin; Otto Mallery; Maynard; and Lester Gardner. Also included are sketches, an NAA letter signed by witnesses: Etheridge, Dough and Moore attesting to the 1903 flight, and the Wright Brothers' original bid for the military contract.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists mostly of correspondence between the Wright brothers and the following people: J.W. See; Ralph H. Upson; Henry Ford; Ernest Jones; Frank Coffyn; O.G. Simmons; C.R. Peterkin; Otto Mallery; Maynard; and Lester Gardner. Also included are sketches, an NAA letter signed by witnesses: Etheridge, Dough and Moore attesting to the 1903 flight, and the Wright Brothers' original bid for the military contract.
Arrangement:
Correspondence is arranged by recipient, other materials are arranged by topic.
Biographical / Historical:
Wilbur Wright was born April 16, 1867, his brother Orville Wright on August 19, 1871. They, along with sister Katharine and brothers Reuchlin and Lorin, were raised near Millville, Indiana and in Dayton, Ohio by their mother, Susan Wright, and father, Milton Wright, bishop of the United Brethren Church. As young men, Wilbur and Orville launched a printing business and a bicycle shop. An interest in aeronautics, spurred by the accounts of the experiments of Otto Lilienthal, prompted Wilbur to request information on the subject from the Smithsonian Institution in 1899. In August of 1900, Wilbur built his first glider and that year and the next the brothers tested gliders at Kitty Hawk. The Wrights constructed a wind tunnel to gather accurate aeronautical data and, benefiting from this new information, another glider was built in 1902. In 1903, the brothers were ready to began construction of a powered craft. With the assistance of mechanic Charles Taylor, they added a 4-cylinder, 12-horsepower engine and propellers to the 1903 Flyer and it was sent to Kitty Hawk for testing. At 10:35 am, December 17, on Kill Devil Hill, Orville achieved a flight of 12 seconds--traveling a distance of 120 feet. By 1908 the Wrights were demonstrating their machines in Europe. The U.S. Army Signal Corps advertised for bids for a two-seat observation aircraft and in 1908 and 1909, the Wrights flew at official Army trials at Fort Myer, Virginia. (It was here that powered flight's first fatality occurred: the tragic death of Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge.) The Army was to purchase the Military Flyer (Signal Corps No. 1) for $30,000 in 1909. In that same year, The Wright Company was established to manufacture Wright aircraft. Wilbur died in Dayton, Ohio on May 30,1912. Orville Wright would live until January 30, 1948.
Provenance:
Various Donors, Gift, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0376
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Airplanes -- Design and construction  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Sketches
Citation:
Wright Brothers Collection, NASM.XXXX.0376, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0376
See more items in:
Wright Brothers Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0376
Online Media:

E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection

Creator:
Weeks, E. D. "Hud" (Evert D.)  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Allison, Lawrence M.  Search this
Arens, Charles A., 1895-1967  Search this
Brock, Walter L.  Search this
Hildesheim, Erik  Search this
Jones, Ernest La Rue, 1883-1955  Search this
Morehouse, Harold E., 1894-1973  Search this
Parker, Will D.  Search this
Tibbs, Burrell  Search this
Waterman, Walter D.  Search this
Weeks, E. D. "Hud" (Evert D.)  Search this
Extent:
1.51 Cubic feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Publications
Diaries
Correspondence
Manuscripts
Photographs
Date:
1907-1981
Summary:
Hud Weeks, pilot and restorer of early aircraft, exchanged correspondence with many early aviators and possessed a strong interest in the career of the exhibition pilot Lincoln Beachey.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of correspondence between E. D. "Hud" Weeks, a cosmetics manufacturer and aviation enthusiast from Des Moines, Iowa, and various aviation personalities and members of the Early Birds, a not-for-profit organization established in 1928 and composed of persons who had piloted an aircraft or airship prior to 17 December 1916. The collection also includes material gathered by Weeks on early aeronautical events, both in the US and abroad. Included within this collection are newspaper articles on Lincoln Beachey's life and tragic death, a great deal of photographs of the daring aeronaut and correspondence between Hud Weeks and former colleagues of Beachey's such as Art Mix and Warren Eaton.
Arrangement note:
The E.D. "Hud" Weeks Collection contains approximately one and a half cubic fee of material, including photographs, printed, typewritten, and handwritten material. It was donated to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in two installments in 1985 (accessions NASM.1985.0004 and NASM.1985.0006).

Original order of the materials, where identified, has been maintained.

Series in the collection are as follows:

I. I. Personal

II. II. Correspondence

III. III. Lincoln Beachey

IV. IV. Oversized Materials
Biographical/Historical note:
Evert D. "Hud" Weeks of Des Moines, Iowa, first learned to fly in 1930. It was an experience that would guide his future life. A cosmetics manufacturer by trade, Weeks devoted his spare time to the collection and restoration of antique aircraft and the recreation of pioneer aircraft. To further this avocation, Weeks entered into correspondence with many early aviators and fellow collectors. Several of these were Early Birds, members of an organization having the distinction of soloing before December 17, 1916. Weeks possessed a strong interest in the career of the exhibition pilot, Lincoln Beachey.
Provenance:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks, gift, 1985, NASM.1985.0004
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Wright (Co) Model G Aeroboat  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Diaries
Correspondence
Manuscripts
Photographs
Citation:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection, Acc. NASM.1985.0004, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1985.0004
See more items in:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1985-0004
Online Media:

Charles M. Manly Papers

Creator:
Manly, Charles Matthews, 1876-1927  Search this
Names:
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Adler, Cyrus, 1863-1940  Search this
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Lahm, Frank Purdy, 1877-1963  Search this
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Manly, Charles Matthews, 1876-1927  Search this
Myers, Carl, 1842-1925  Search this
Post, Augustus  Search this
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Cubic feet (2 legal document boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Publications
Correspondence
Programs
Clippings
Notebooks
Date:
1895-1925
bulk 1903-1915
Summary:
This collection consists of material relating to Manly's aeronautical career, specifically his work with Samuel Langley's Aerodrome. The material consists of programs, publications, newspaper clippings, work notebooks, waste books, (mostly letterpress) and correspondence between Manly and the aviation and Smithsonian communities, circa 1885-1925. Correspondents include the following personalities: Glenn Curtiss, Carl Myers, Charles Walcott, Frank Lahm, Cyrus Adler, Augustus Post, and Samuel Langley.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of material relating to Manly's aeronautical career, specifically his work with Samuel Langley's Aerodrome. The material consists of programs, publications, newspaper clippings, work notebooks, waste books, (mostly letterpress) and correspondence between Manly and the aviation and Smithsonian communities, circa 1885-1925. Correspondents include Samuel Langley, Charles Walcott and Richard Rathbun of the Smithsonian; Cyrus Adler, Glenn Curtiss, Benjamin D. Foulois, Carl Myers, Frank Lahm, and Augustus Post. Of particular interest is the correspondence between Manly and Smithsonian Secretary Charles Walcott on Manly's work on the preparation of the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight for publication between 1908 to 1911; and his correspondence with Glenn Curtiss concerning the test flights of the rebuilt Great Aerodrome on Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, New York, in 1914, and the resulting controversy between the Smithsonian and Orville Wright.

Researchers may also wish to consult the National Air and Space Archives Division's Samuel P. Langley Collection (Accession No. XXXX-0494), and these collections held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives:

Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.

Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907

Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.
Arrangement:
The Charles M. Manly Papers are organized in three series:

Series I --Letter Copy Books and Notebooks

Letter copy books were used to make and preserve copies of letters and memoranda --one placed a sheet of oiled paper under a page of the copy book, dampened the tissue copy page, then laid the original letter in the book under pressure for a few seconds. The quality of the copies ranges from quite readable to very faint. Because of the fragility of the paper, Archives Division staff should be consulted before working with the material.

The two notebooks in the series (Folder 4) were carried by Manly in his day to day work on the Aerodrome project and contain his notes on the progress of the work.

Series II --Correspondence

Letters in this series are arranged by year.

Series III --Additional Material

Newspaper clippings, Manly Family records, a photograph of Langley's Aerodrome No.5 in flight, and miscellaneous material.
Biographical/Historical note:
On May 9, 1898, Smithsonian Secretary Samuel P. Langley wrote to Professor Robert Thurston of Cornell University, looking for a "young man who is morally trustworthy ('a good fellow') with some gumption and a professional training" to serve as Langley's assistant in his aeronautical work. Thurston recommended a senior majoring in electrical and mechanical engineering, Charles Matthews Manly (1876-1927) of Staunton, Virginia. Langley hired Manly and placed him in charge of the construction of his Great Aerodrome, the large manned aircraft being built under the sponsorship of the Army's Board of Ordnance and Fortification. One of Manly's main contributions to the project was his vastly improved redesign of Stephen M. Balzer's five-cylinder water-cooled radial gasoline engine. Manly piloted the Great Aerodrome on its two unsuccessful launch attempts in 1903. He resigned from the Smithsonian in 1905. Manly served as a consulting aviation engineer for different government agencies and corporations, including the British War Office, 1915; the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation 1915-1919 (from 1919-1920 as the assistant general manger); and as a member of the US Commission to the International Aircraft Conference, London, 1918. Manly also completed and edited Langley's Memoir on Mechanical Flight which was published by the Smithsonian in 1911. Manly was granted over fifty 50 patents relating to automotive transportation, power generation, and transmission. In 1929, Manly was posthumously awarded the Langley Medal for outstanding aeronautical achievements.
Provenance:
Brian Bailey, gift, 1998, 1999-0004, deed pending.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Airplanes -- Motors  Search this
Test pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Langley Aerodrome Family  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Correspondence
Programs
Clippings
Notebooks
Citation:
Charles M. Manly Papers, Acc. 1999-0004, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsoinan Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1999.0004
See more items in:
Charles M. Manly Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1999-0004
Online Media:

Wright Model B Modified Flyer

Creator:
Fairmont East High School, Kettering, Ohio  Search this
Fairmont West High School, Kettering, Ohio  Search this
Names:
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.22 Cubic feet ((1 flatbox))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Date:
1976
Scope and Contents:
There are 73 drawings including a 3 view assembly, front view, side view, top view and tail section as well as 22 drawings of wing details (including engine mounts, seats, etc.); 6 drawings of tail details; 7 drawings of horizontal stabilizer and bellcrank details; 5 drawings of rudder details; 8 drawings of landing gear, 2 drawings of front skid assembly; 13 drawings of control assembly; 4 drawings of radiator details and one drawing of the fuel tank.
Biographical / Historical:
The Wright Model B was a one-man machine built by Wilbur and Orville Wright to be used for exhibition work. With a maximum length of 31 feet, maximum breadth of 39 feet and supporting surface of 500 square feet, its total weight was 1250 lbs. including aviator and passenger. The Model B's motor was a 30-35 h.p. 4 cylinder one. This set of drawings was a bicentennial project done in 1976 by members of the drafting departments of Fairmont East and Fairmont West High Schools in Kettering, Ohio.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
No donor information, Gift, unknown, XXXX-0460, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Airplanes  Search this
Wright (Co) Model B  Search this
Airplanes -- Design and construction  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0460
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0460

Roger B. Whitman Early Aviation Photograph Collection

Creator:
Whitman, Roger B.  Search this
Names:
Blériot, Louis, 1872-1936  Search this
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Farman, Henry  Search this
Latham, Hubert  Search this
Paulhan, Louis  Search this
Whitman, Roger B.  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet ((7 folders))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1909-1911
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 163 photographs, collected by Whitman, covering early aviation activities in predominantly the United States and France. Aircraft manufacturers represented include: Wright, Curtiss, Bell, Bleriot, Antoinette, Deperdussin, Farman, Voisin, and other American, French, and British designers of the period 1909-1911. The following events are represented: 1909, 1910 Grande Semaines d'Aviation, 1910 Quinzaine de la Baie de la Seine, 1909 meet at Blackpool England and the 1910 meets at Belmont Part Long Island, Nice and other locations. Flights represented include: Bleriot's Channel flight, Latham's flight over San Francisco and flights in and around New York and Paris. Aviators represented include: the Wright Brothers, Henry Farman, Louis Bleriot, Hubert Latham, Glenn Curtiss, Louis Paulhan, and other French and American pilots.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
The Roger B. Whitman Early Aviation Photograph Collection is arranged in its original order.
Biographical / Historical:
Roger B. Whitman was a prominent photographer who maintained a lifetime love of aviation. During World War I he was in the Air Service and established the first school of aerial photography. Whitman was later the Associate Editor of the American 'Country Life.'
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Herbert S. Whitman, Gift, 1979, XXXX-0517, Public Domain
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Bell Aircraft Family  Search this
Bleriot Aircraft Family  Search this
Curtiss, General, Aircraft  Search this
Antoinette Aircraft Family  Search this
Voisin Aircraft Family  Search this
Deperdussin Aircraft Family  Search this
Aeronautics -- France  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- Competitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Citation:
Roger B. Whitman Early Aviation Photograph Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0517, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0517
See more items in:
Roger B. Whitman Early Aviation Photograph Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0517
Online Media:

Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook

Creator:
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Names:
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Science Museum of London  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Extent:
0.66 Cubic feet (1 flatbox)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1948-1949
Summary:
This scrapbook chronicles the return of the Wright 1903 Flyer to the United States, beginning with the early negotiations with England to the reception at the Smithsonian following receipt of the aircraft.
Scope and Contents:
This scrapbook chronicles the return of the Wright 1903 Flyer from the early negotiations with England to the reception following receipt of the aircraft. The scrapbook includes the following types of material: reception invitation and program; remarks from the reception; a letter sent by Harry Truman which was read during the reception; newspaper articles; and photographs, including shots of the curators setting up the display and hanging the aircraft in the National Air Museum in the North Hall of Arts and Industry Building.
Arrangement:
This collection is in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
After disagreements with the Smithsonian Institution, Orville Wright elected to loan his Wright 1903 Flyer to the Science Museum in England. Upon his death, an agreement was reached to return to aircraft to the United States where it would be housed by the National Air Museum.
Provenance:
Prepared by the National Air Museum, Transfer, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0393
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Wright (Brothers) 1903 Flyer  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook, NASM.XXXX.0393, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0393
See more items in:
Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0393
Online Media:

Langley Experiments Scrapbooks

Creator:
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Names:
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.23 Cubic feet ((1 slim legal box))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
1914-1915
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of two scrapbooks kept by Glenn H. Curtiss and filled with photographs of himself and Samuel Langley. The photos show the two men and their experiments with Langley's aircraft, the Langley Aerodrome. The trial flights were conducted on Lake Kewka, near Hammondsport, NY. Each photo is labeled with a caption and a date. The second (chronologically) book of the set is a continuation of the photos of the Langley experiments by Glenn H. Curtiss, and while the photos are numbered, they have no captions or labeling on them. Some dates are available on the photos. Curtiss' autograph appears inside the cover of one scrapbook.
Biographical / Historical:
Nine days before the Wright brothers' first successful flight, Smithsonian Secretary Samuel Langley had the trial for his steam-powered machine, called the Great Aerodrome. Heavily funded by the United States government, the Aerodrome broke apart almost immediately upon takeoff in a highly-publicized event, and Langley and the Smithsonian Institution suffered embarrassment over the incident. After Langley passed away in 1906, his successor, Charles Walcott, claimed that although Langley may not have flown that December morning the Aerodrome was certainly capable of it. Walcott's "proof" was in a rebuilt version of Langley's Aerodrome, which was later successfully flown by American airplane manufacturer Glenn Curtiss. Curtiss, who was engaged in a patent suit with the Wright brothers, rebuilt and flew Langley's Aerodrome with 1914 modifications with the hope of showing the courts that the Wrights did not invent the airplane. While Curtiss eventually lost the patent suit, the flight was used by the Smithsonian to redeem Langley's role in the history of flight.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Glenn H. Curtiss, gift, unknown, XXXX-0294, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Aeronautics -- Law and legislation  Search this
Langley Aerodrome Family  Search this
Langley Aerodrome A (Great Aerodrome, Man-Carrying Aerodrome)  Search this
Langley Aerodrome A, Curtiss 1914 Rebuild  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0294
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0294

Wright Brothers Medal Presentation Scrapbook

Creator:
Aero Club of America  Search this
Names:
Aero Club of America  Search this
Taft, William H. (William Howard), 1857-1930  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.31 Cubic feet ((1 flatbox))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cartoons (humorous images)
Speeches
Clippings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1909
Scope and Contents:
This scrapbook is one of three prepared by the Aero Club of America in honor of the presentation of the Aero Club of America medals to Orville and Wilber Wright by President William Howard Taft. The book consist of photos, editorials, articles, and cartoons published on 16 June 1909, the day of the presentation, and given to the club for inclusion in the book. Also included are several copies of speeches made at the presentation as well as letters from ten governors and 13 scientific bodies.
Biographical / Historical:
Wilbur Wright was born April 16, 1867, his brother Orville Wright on August 19, 1871. They, along with sister Katharine and brothers Reuchlin and Lorin, were raised near Millville, Indiana and in Dayton, Ohio by their mother, Susan Wright, and father, Milton Wright, bishop of the United Brethren Church. As young men, Wilbur and Orville launched a printing business and a bicycle shop. An interest in aeronautics, spurred by the accounts of the experiments of Otto Lilienthal, prompted Wilbur to request information on the subject from the Smithsonian Institution in 1899. In August of 1900, Wilbur built his first glider and that year and the next the brothers tested gliders at Kitty Hawk. The Wrights constructed a wind tunnel to gather accurate aeronautical data and, benefiting from this new information, another glider was built in 1902. In 1903, the brothers were ready to began construction of a powered craft. With the assistance of mechanic Charles Taylor, they added a 4-cylinder, 12-horsepower engine and propellers to the 1903 Flyer and it was sent to Kitty Hawk for testing. At 10:35 am, December 17, on Kill Devil Hill, Orville achieved a flight of 12 seconds--traveling a distance of 120 feet. By 1908 the Wrights were demonstrating their machines in Europe. The U.S. Army Signal Corps advertised for bids for a two-seat observation aircraft and in 1908 and 1909, the Wrights flew at official Army trials at Fort Myer, Virginia. (It was here that powered flight's first fatality occurred: the tragic death of Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge.) The Army was to purchase the Military Flyer (Signal Corps No. 1) for {dollar}30,000 in 1909. In that same year, The Wright Company was established to manufacture Wright aircraft. Wilbur died in Dayton, Ohio on May 30,1912. Orville Wright would live until January 30, 1948.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Aero Club of America, Gift, 1915, XXXX-0324, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aero Club of America Medal  Search this
Aeronautics -- Awards  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Cartoons (humorous images)
Speeches
Clippings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0324
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0324

Commander George C. Sweet Scrapbook

Creator:
Sweet, George C., 1877-1953  Search this
Names:
United States. Navy. Bureau of Navigation. Naval Aeronautical Board  Search this
Wright Flyer Army Trials -- Fort Myer, Vir.  Search this
Sweet, George C., 1877-1953  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.45 Cubic feet ((1 legal document box))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Clippings
Date:
1918-1961
bulk 1938-1954
Scope and Contents:
The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings, armed service memorabilia, invitations and one large photograph of Commander Sweet. The clippings are about Commander Sweet and also about the Wright Brothers.
Biographical / Historical:
Commander George C. Sweet (1877-1953) was a US Navy officer significant in promoting the early use of aircraft by the Navy. In September 1908, Commander Sweet, serving as a Naval observer, reported favorably on the Wright Brothers airplane demonstration at Fort Meyer, near Washington, DC. Following his appointment to the Naval Aeronautical Board, Commander Sweet received an opportunity to fly with the Wright Brothers, becoming the first Navy officer to travel in an airplane.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
No donor information, Gift, unknown, XXXX-0017, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Clippings
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0017
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0017

Orville and Wilbur Wright Memorabilia Collection

Names:
Hammer, William J. (William Joseph), 1858-1934 (electrical engineer)  Search this
Peterkin, C. R.  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet ((1 box))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ephemera
Photographs
Brochures
Correspondence
Date:
1906-1948
bulk 1907-1928
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains letters, telegrams, brochures, photographs and miscellaneous ephemera pertaining to Orville and Wilbur Wright. Included with the correspondence are letters written to William J. Hammer, who was an aeronautical pioneer and associated with the Wright Brothers, as well as other individuals including C. R. Peterkin. Additional items are, brochures from the Wilbur Wright Memorial, a brochure of the 25th Anniversary celebration of the first successful airplane flight, December 17, 1928, a sketch on an envelope by Wilbur Wright of a flight around the Statue of Liberty in 1909, a sympathy acknowledgment card for the Wrights' for Wilbur's death, and a photograph signed by Orville Wright. Also enclosed with the collection is a piece of wood from the Wright Brothers hangar at Kitty Hawk, presented by Orville Wright.
Biographical / Historical:
Wilbur Wright was born April 16, 1867, his brother Orville Wright on August 19, 1871. They, along with sister Katharine and brothers Reuchlin and Lorin, were raised near Millville, Indiana and in Dayton, Ohio by their mother, Susan Wright, and father, Milton Wright, bishop of the United Brethren Church. As young men, Wilbur and Orville launched a printing business and a bicycle shop. An interest in aeronautics, spurred by the accounts of the experiments of Otto Lilienthal, prompted Wilbur to request information on the subject from the Smithsonian Institution in 1899. In August of 1900, Wilbur built his first glider and that year and the next the brothers tested gliders at Kitty Hawk. The Wrights constructed a wind tunnel to gather accurate aeronautical data and, benefiting from this new information, another glider was built in 1902. In 1903, the brothers were ready to began construction of a powered craft. With the assistance of mechanic Charles Taylor, they added a 4-cylinder, 12-horsepower engine and propellers to the 1903 Flyer and it was sent to Kitty Hawk for testing. At 10:35 am, December 17, on Kill Devil Hill, Orville achieved a flight of 12 seconds--traveling a distance of 120 feet. By 1908 the Wrights were demonstrating their machines in Europe. The U.S. Army Signal Corps advertised for bids for a two-seat observation aircraft and in 1908 and 1909, the Wrights flew at official Army trials at Fort Myer, Virginia. (It was here that powered flight's first fatality occurred: the tragic death of Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge.) The Army was to purchase the Military Flyer (Signal Corps No. 1) for {dollar}30,000 in 1909. In that same year, The Wright Company was established to manufacture Wright aircraft. Wilbur died in Dayton, Ohio on May 30,1912. Orville Wright would live until January 30, 1948.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Various Donors, Gift, unknown, XXXX-0079, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Aeronautics -- Awards  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ephemera
Photographs
Brochures
Correspondence
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0079
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0079

William J. Hammer Collection

Creator:
Hammer, William J. (William Joseph), 1858-1934 (electrical engineer)  Search this
Names:
Hudson-Fulton Celebration (1909)  Search this
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Hammer, William J. (William Joseph), 1858-1934 (electrical engineer)  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
5.66 Cubic feet (13 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Publications
Manuscripts
Correspondence
Photographs
Date:
1881-1934
bulk 1905-1915
Summary:
The collection is the result of Major Hammer's passion for amassing material related to aeronautics and technology, and it is arranged into eleven series: articles, clippings, correspondence, drawings and blueprints, leaflets, legislation, minutes, miscellaneous, photographs, programs and publications. Housed in 23 folders, the correspondence is the most comprehensive series, reflecting the original order which grouped the letters into series by topic. Much of the correspondence concerns the planning of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909, and the involvement of Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss. There is also a scrapbook of black and white photographs providing front and side views of specified airplanes. Each page has 3 photos showing different views of the same plane accompanied by a label with additional information. (See written copy for details. Also, please see information written on 8x11 notebook paper.)
Scope and Contents:
The William J. Hammer Collection reflects Hammer's great interest in aeronautics --a passion he cultivated for several decades by accumulating a veritable storehouse of materials. Hammer's important contributions to the early development of aviation are also evident in this collection.

The collection of materials listed in the finding aid is arranged into two series. The first series includes correspondence, reports, handbooks, drawings, brochures, programs, leaflets, magazines, articles, newspaper clippings and miscellaneous materials. The second series is comprised of photographs of various sizes, scrapbooks, scrapbook pages and miscellaneous materials (the front pages of newspapers, certificates, posters, etc.).

Hammer's papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Correspondence, drawings, brochures, programs, leaflets, miscellaneous materials, scrapbook pages, articles and newspaper clippings are organized by the former method. Reports, handbooks, magazines and booklets are grouped alphabetically by either title of publication or author. Photographs are arranged either by subject or chronologically.

The reader should note that at some point, Hammer produced a series of large format photographs. These mounted photographs are duplicates. Due to the very fragile condition of these particular images, the photographs and are not available to researchers.

Additional photographic material regarding Hammer Collection photographs can be found in the NASM Archives Images database. An Archives staff member will assist you with research using this database.

Box 13 of the William J. Hammer Collection has not been scanned.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
The William J. Hammer Collection is arranged by content type.
Biographical/Historical note:
William J. Hammer was born in Cressona, Pennsylvania, on February 26, 1858, was an associate of Thomas Edison and an early aviation supporter and enthusiast. He began his career as an assistant to Edward Weston of the Weston Malleable Nickel Company. In 1879, he moved on to a new position as laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey. His duties ranged from aiding in conducting experiments on such devices as the phonograph, telephone and ore separator to acting as Edison's key person in further developing the incandescent electric lamp. By 1880, he was made chief engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. A year later, Edison dispatched Hammer to London to be chief engineer of the English Electric Light Company. In this position, he helped construct the Holborn Viaduct Central Electric Light Station in London. This was the first central station ever built for incandescent electric lighting. In 1883, Hammer became chief engineer for the German Edison Company. This task included planning and supervising the construction of all Edison plants in Germany. He returned to the United States late in the following year and acted as chief inspector of central stations of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. In 1886-87, Hammer was general manager and chief engineer of the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company. In 1888, he worked as an independent engineer and supervised the completion of the then-largest isolated electric lighting plant, located at the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. During that year, Hammer also was chosen as consulting electrical engineer to the Cincinnati Centennial Exposition. Subsequently, Edison selected him as his personal representative to the Paris Exposition of 1889. This assignment rounded out Hammer's eleven years with Edison. During his time as one of Edison's most trusted and important employees, Hammer devised a number of innovations to the incandescent electric lamp. He designed and built the first electric sign, which spelled out the name "Edison". While in Germany, he invented the automatic motor-driven flashing electric lamp sign. This particular sign flashed the word "Edison" letter by letter and then all at once. At the International Electrical Exhibition, held in Philadelphia in 1884, Hammer also constructed the first flashing column of electric lights.

Upon his return to the U.S. in 1890, Hammer worked as an independent consulting electrical engineer by assisting in a variety of electrical projects, carrying out tests, giving lectures and providing expert testimony in patent disputes. He based this modest enterprise in an office in New York City and continued in this occupation until 1925. His career as an electrical engineering consultant was interrupted by World War I. In June 1918, he was commissioned a major in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the Inventions Section of the War Plans Division of the General Staff in charge of Aeronautical and Electrical Inventions at the Army War College, Washington, D.C.. By December of that year, he was attached to the Operations Division General Staff at the War Department (Inventions Section). During the war and on into 1919, Hammer also worked for the U.S. Patent Office by identifying any aviation-related patents likely to convey too much information to potential enemies. In conjunction with his War Department duties, he acted as a member of the Advisory Board of Experts affiliated with the Alien Property Commission.

Busy as he was with his private consulting work, Hammer also immersed himself in other scientific activities. He took a particular interest in radium after visiting Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris in 1902. The two discoverers of radium gave him some samples of this substance. Soon after returning to the United States, Hammer experimented with radium. His research yielded numerous useful applications for this material such as radium-luminous powders and paints that were used to coat everything from watch and clock dials to aeronautical instruments, switches and toys. Hammer also advocated the use of radium for cancer and tumor treatment. Beyond his interest in this material, he invented selenium light-sensitive cells and recommended many practical uses for them. He also conducted a great deal of laboratory work on X-rays, ultraviolet and cathode rays, phosphorescence and wireless communications. Accordingly, he lectured and published extensively on many of these fields of research and study.

Hand in hand with his overall interest in science and technology, Hammer had a particular passion for aeronautics. Beyond paying careful attention to the rapid progress made in this field at the turn of the twentieth century, he also played an active role as participant and supporter. He made his first balloon flight over France during the Paris Exposition of 1889. His last lighter-than-air journey took place in 1931 aboard the U.S. Navy dirigible Los Angeles. Moreover, he attended and officiated over many balloon, airship and airplane exhibitions and races. Hammer was a member of the Aero Club of America and a director of the Aeronautical Society. This latter group made the first ever purchase of an airplane in January 1909. He served as expert and secretary of the Aeronautics Committee on the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission of 1909 and wrote the contracts for Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss to fly their airplanes for this event. This occasion in New York was important as it marked the first time a large gathering of people in the U.S. witnessed heavier-than-air powered flight. As a friend of the Wright brothers, Hammer testified as an expert witness on their behalf during various patent litigation suits. His contact with aviation pioneers went beyond the Wrights and Curtiss. He also knew and interacted with, among others, Samuel Langley, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Henri Farman and Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Even his work with radium had applications for aviation. Hammer developed radium-based luminous compounds and used them on aircraft instruments so pilots could more easily view their cockpits' dials and gauges.

Hammer's last years were filled with serving as Historian General of the Military Order of the World War, as well as participating in many scientific, engineering and aeronautical committees and societies. During this time, he was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, John Scott Medal from the Franklin Institute and the Cross of the Legion of Honor from France. Up until his death on March 24, 1934, he also labored in his efforts to organize a vast personal collection of rare and valuable scientific artifacts, photographs and other materials accumulated since his days with Edison. Following Hammer's death, this important collection was left in the care of his daughter Mabel (his wife of twelve years, Alice, having died in 1906). Some years later, International Business Machines (IBM) acquired it. In 1962, IBM donated the William J. Hammer Scientific Collection to the Smithsonian Institution. The bulk of the collection resides with the National Museum of American History's Archives Center. In the mid 1980s, the aeronautical portion of this collection was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives.
Provenance:
IBM (Mr. William J. Hammer Collection), gift, 1961, XXXX-0074, not NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Publications
Manuscripts
Correspondence
Photographs
Citation:
William J. Hammer Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0074, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0074
See more items in:
William J. Hammer Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0074
Online Media:

Charles E. Taylor Collection

Creator:
Taylor, Charles Edward, 1868-1956  Search this
Names:
Wright-Martin Aircraft Co.  Search this
Taylor, Charles Edward, 1868-1956  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
0.23 Cubic feet ((1 slim legal document box))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Biographies
Date:
1928-1966
bulk 1928-1956
Scope and Contents:
This accession includes Taylor's correspondence with his son, Rueben W. Taylor, (1928-1948), and the Garrison Machine Works, (1953-1956), makers of gears used in the Wright flyer engines. The letters to Rueben Taylor are originals, while the Garrison Machine Works correspondence are mostly xerox copies. Also included are brief biographical sketches of Taylor.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Edward Taylor (1868-1956), sometimes referred to as 'the first airplane mechanic,' worked intermittently from 1901 to 1920 for Orville and Wilbur Wright and the Wright-Martin Company. Born in Nebraska in 1868, Taylor built the first engine that powered an airplane in flight, a little four-cylnder, gasoline engine which was used in the Wright 1903 Flyer at Kitty Hawk on December 17, 1903.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Charles Edward Taylor, II, Gift, 1986, 1987-0006, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Airplanes -- Motors  Search this
Airplanes -- Design and construction  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Wright (Brothers) 1903 Flyer  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Biographies
Identifier:
NASM.1987.0006
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1987-0006

1903 Wright Flyer Drawings

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Ford Motor Company.  Search this
Science Museum of London  Search this
Names:
Ford Motor Company.  Search this
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Science Museum of London  Search this
Christman, Louis  Search this
Taylor, Charles Edward, 1868-1956  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
9.3 Cubic feet ((3 48"x36"x3" drawers))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Date:
1928-1986
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of drawings of the 1903 Wright Flyer executed at various times during the life of the aircraft: Science Museum of London Drawings -- commissioned when the aircraft was on loan to the Museum; Ford Drawings -- sponsored by the Ford Motor Company which were supervised by Orville Wright and Charles Taylor; Christman Drawings -- drafted by Louis Christman who consulted with Orville Wright and other sources; and the National Air and Space Museum Drawings -- commissioned by the Museum during the 1985 restoration of the Wright 1903 Flyer. These drawings include three view drawings as well as both the airframe and engine components.
Biographical / Historical:
The Wright 1903 Flyer holds a special place in aviation history as the vehicle in which mankind first achieved controlled, powered, and sustained flight. The Wrights made no drawings of the aircraft when they originally built it and they continuously modified the craft during flight tests. The aircraft also underwent modifications due to damage suffered following its last flight, and the reconstruction work of 1916 and 1925-1927. Thus, there will always be some doubt about the exact configuration of the aircraft during the 1903 flights.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
NASM, Science Museum of London, Ford Museum, Gift/Transfer, 1986-0152, Some NASM
Restrictions:
Some restrictions on distribution.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Wright (Brothers) 1903 Flyer  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Identifier:
NASM.1986.0152
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1986-0152

George W. Beatty Collection

Creator:
Beatty, George W., -1955  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Wright Flying School  Search this
Beatty, George W., -1955  Search this
Page, Handley  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Extent:
0.63 Linear feet
0.68 Cubic feet (1 legal document box; 1 20 x 24 x 3 flatbox; 1 slim legal document box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Publications
Correspondence
Photographs
Drawings
Date:
1910-1955
bulk 1910-1912
Summary:
George W. Beatty (-1955) was an Early Bird, aviator, and instructor.
Scope and Contents:
The George W. Beatty Collection (accessions 1989-0013 and 1991-0069) contains approximately one cubic foot of material relating to the career of this pioneering aviator. The bulk of the material dates from 1910 to 1912 and includes an Early Birds plaque, several small banners from flying meets, and a 1928 letter from Orville Wright. The collection also includes correspondence, a great deal of photographic material, and scrapbooks.
Arrangement note:
Original order, when identified, has been maintained.

SERIES Series in the collection are as follows:

Series I: Documentary Material Series II: Photographic Material Series III: Oversized Materials
Biographical/Historical note:
Born in 1887 or 1888 in Whitehouse, New Jersey, George W. Beatty was employed as a young man as a linotype operator. He was shortly to enter the field that would define much of his life. In June of 1911 he enrolled at the Wright School at Nassau to be taught by Al Welsh. Soloing on July 23 of that year, he set a new two-man American altitude record on the same day. Throughout that summer, Beatty would set several more records, in altitude, weight-carrying and duration. On August 6, 1911, Beatty obtained license number 41 and subsequently attended meets where he was to break several American and world records. Also in that year, he would become the first to fly a plane in which air to ground communication was maintained throughout the flight.

Early in 1912, Beatty established a school on Long Island. Its proximity to New York allowed Beatty to become the first person to land on Manhattan when he flew over the city and into Central Park. He would soon need to take his skills elsewhere, however. After the unfortunate death of Al Welsh, Beatty took the place of his former instructor at College Park, Maryland, testing aircraft for the government.

The next year, Beatty shipped his Wright plane to England. The aircraft had by now been equipped with a GYRO seven-cylinder rotary motor. He formed a partnership with Handly-Page to establish a flying school at the Hendon Aerodrome, outside of London. This venture was highly successful and was to produce over one thousand fliers for the Royal Air Force. After the war, Beatty worked for a Parisian motorcycle manufacturer and remained in Europe for nineteen years.

In later life, Beatty was to return to the field of his youth, working for the Hughes Printing Company. On February 21, 1955, George W. Beatty, a member of the Early Birds and an outstanding figure in early aviation, passed away at 67.

George W. Beatty (-1955) was an Early Bird, aviator and instructor. After finishing school, Beatty became a mechanic and linotype operator. In 1909 he became interested in a New York gliding club and assisted in the construction of an unsuccessful home-built Santos-Dumont Demoiselle. In 1911 he entered the Wright Flying School and received his license in July of that year. He spent much of the remaining years before World War I carrying passengers, flying exhibitions, and instructing, both in England and the United States. In February 1914 he established a flying school at Hendon, near London, in cooperation with Handley Page and instructed military pilots during the war. Following the war he returned to the US and became superintendent of the Hughes Printing Company, where he remained until his death.
General note:
Other materials: Artifacts from this collection were transferred to the NASM Aeronautics Division; books were transferred to the NASM branch Library.
Provenance:
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) received these materials in 1988, a donation from Louise Beatty.

Louise Beatty, gift, 1988, 1991, 1989-0013, 1991-0069, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit and Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Flight training  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Correspondence
Photographs
Drawings
Citation:
George W. Beatty Collection, Acc. 1989-0013, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1989.0013
See more items in:
George W. Beatty Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1989-0013
Online Media:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By
  • National Air and Space Museum Archives