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.
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.
Charles Arens, Gift, 1971, NASM.XXXX.0016
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An interview of Howard Ben Tré conducted 2007 July 7, by Josephine Shea, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's studio, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.
Ben Tré speaks of his childhood in Rockaway Park, New York; his Polish immigrant father who was a woodworker and artist; inheriting a particular aesthetic and sense of hard work from his father; attending Brooklyn Technical High School to play football but not graduating; moving to Marshall, Missouri to attend Missouri Valley College for one year; attending Brooklyn College; becoming involved in Students for a Democratic Society, the antiwar movement and civil rights movement of the 1960s; traveling to Cuba as part of the first Venceremos Brigade to cut sugarcane in 1969; meeting his first wife, Gay, in Cuba and returning to New York with her; organizing a food co-op and community events in Brooklyn; moving to Portland, Oregon; working in construction for the city before going back to school to study veterinarian medicine at Portland State University; discovering the glass studio in a garage at Portland State; meeting Dale Chihuly and working at Pilchuck Glass School; utilizing the foundry skills learned from Brooklyn Technical High to work with glass in casting and cope and drag methods; his series Burial Boxes and the influence of ancient architecture and ceremonial Chinese bronzes; the rise of the studio glass movement as symptomatic of socio-political-economic times, not just the pioneering efforts of Harvey Littleton and Dominic Labino; traveling throughout Europe with Gay; visiting Stanislav Libenský and Jaraslava Brychtová in Czechoslovakia; visiting Dan Dailey at Cristallerie Daum in France; attending Rhode Island School of Design [RISD]; his first show at Hadler/Rodriguez Gallery in 1980; teaching experiences at Haystack Mountain School of Craft and Appalachian Center for Craft; building and installing an oven at Blenko Glass in Milton, West Virginia and at Super Glass in Brooklyn; working with Mold Melted Glass Studio in Pelechov, Czech Republic; the history of glass and early glass-working techniques; his many commissions, including sited public projects such as Post Office Square in Boston; the adoption of his name, Ben Tré; return visits to Cuba; working with RISD to create a winter study session in Havana; and his view of artists as artists, not defined by medium. Ben Tré also recalls Anthony Parker, Italo Scanga, Ron Onorato, Alice Aycock, Ferdinand Hampson, Steven Polander, Karen LaMonte, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Howard Ben Tré (1949- 2020) was a glass artist from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Josephine Shea is a curator from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan.
Originally recorded 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 4 hr., 3 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.