Margery Durant Air Popularization Tour Collection

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.2011.0023
Creators:
Durant, Margery.
Dates:
bulk 1931-1932
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.69 Cubic Feet
(5 boxes)
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection includes 188 glass lantern slides that Durant shot during the tours; the slides were hand-colored by the photographer Edward Van Altena. There are thirteen reels of motion picture film, including "A Safari of Twenty Five Thousand Miles through Ten Countries in Silver Wings", a film on Durant's African flights. The collections includes four DVDs: a digitized copy of "A Safari of Twenty Five Thousand Miles ..."; "The Romance of Flight", a short film by Durant's husband Fitzhugh Green; digitized film footage of Paris; and scans of the lantern slides in jpeg format. Also included is a copy of the book "Margery Durant Goes to Africa 1931-2" by Alexander Sanger, Durant's grandson; a short biography of Durant by Mr. Sanger, and photocopied New York Times articles on the tours.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Margery Durant was born in Flint, Michigan on May 24, 1887, the daughter of Clara Pitt Durant and William C. Durant, founder of General Motors. She attended schools in Flint; in Tarrytown, New York; and at the Mt. Vernon Seminary, Washington, D.C., from 1903 to 1905. Durant settled in Flint, later moving to Detroit and New York City and maintaining residences on Long Island, in Palm Beach, Florida, and in New Zealand. With her husband, Robert W. Daniel, she restored Brandon, an 18th century plantation on the James River, Virginia, now a National Historic Landmark. In 1929, she wrote (with Fitzhugh Green, later her fourth husband) My Father, a biography of William C. Durant. Margery Durant died in Palm Beach on February 3, 1969, at the age of 82.
Biographical / Historical
Though not a pilot, in 1930 Margery Durant conceived of a plan to popularize private air travel by touring Europe, the Middle East and Africa by air. With Charles A. LaJotte (1895-1973) serving as pilot and Everett M. Smith as mechanic and with her Lockheed Vega 5C (named Ariel) stowed on board, Durant sailed to Europe on board the SS Hamburg in April, 1931. Over a three month period, Durant traveled over 12,000 miles, visiting England, France, Italy, Germany, Turkey, Greece, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Palestine and the Balkans. On her second tour, from December 1931 through May 1932, Durant visited England, France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and Uganda in a Sikorsky S-38 Amphibian, the Silver Wings.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Alexander Sanger, Gift, 2011

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
Margery Durant Air Popularization Tour Collection, Accession 2011-0023, 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
Lockheed Model 5 Vega Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Travel Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Air travel Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Middle East Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Europe Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Motion pictures (visual works) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lantern slides Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
LaJotte, Charles. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Van Altena, Edward 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/