Fred Howard Vin Fiz Special Papers
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.2007.0002
Creators:
Howard, Fred.
Dates:
1911
Languages:
English
This collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.8 Cubic feet
2 boxes
Repository:
The first crossing of the United States by airplane was achieved by Calbraith Perry Rodgers in 1911 in his Wright EX biplane, named the Vin Fiz.

Scope and Content
Scope and Content
This collection consists of the following material relating to Fred Howard and his role with the Vin Fiz Special: correspondence, newspaper clippings and articles, schedules and logs for both the Vin Fiz and the Vin Fiz Special, telegrams; train registration sheets, miscellaneous notes, passenger lists, and financial paperwork.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Arranged by type of material.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
The first crossing of the United States by airplane was achieved by Calbraith Perry Rodgers in 1911 in his Wright EX biplane, named the Vin Fiz. Rodgers decided to attempt the coast-to-coast flight in response to publisher William Randolph Hearst's New York American challenge which offered a prize of $50,000 for the first transcontinental flight to be competed in 30 days. Rodgers began his journey from Sheepshead Bay, New York, on September 17, 1911, and as the flight was punctuated by numerous stops, delays, and accidents the 30-day time limit Hearst imposed for the prize had expired before Rodgers reached California on November 5, 1911.
To finance the trip, Rodgers had secured backing from the Armour Company, a Chicago firm which was then introducing a new grape-flavored soft drink called Vin Fiz. Armour provided Rodgers with a special train, called the Vin Fiz Special, with cars for the accommodation of Rodgers' family and his support crew, and a "hangar" car, which was a rolling workshop, filled with spare parts to repair and maintain the airplane over the course of the flight. There was even an automobile on board to pick up Rodgers after forced landings away from the rail line. Fred Howard, the division passenger agent for the Erie Railroad, was placed in charge of the Vin Fiz Special and soon also took charge of the command center, juggling both railroad matters and aviation repairs. In Chicago, Howard was commended for his effort and asked to continue with the flight to California, but he declined.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged, described, and encoded by Jordan Ferraro in 2009.
Author
Jordan Ferraro
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Eileen F. Lebow , Gift, 2006, NASM.2007.0002

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation note
Fred Howard Vin Fiz Special Papers, NASM.2007.0002, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Telegrams Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wright (Co) Model EX "Vin Fiz" Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroad cars Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Railroad travel Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Logs (records) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Vin Fiz Special (train) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newspaper clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Armour Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rodgers, Calbraith Perry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/