Early Boston Area Aviation Photography
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
circa 1911
Physical Description:
1.35 Gigabytes
10 digital images
This collection consists of digital image scans made from ten glass negatives depicting aviation related activities in the Boston, Massachusetts, area circa 1911. The first six images are views of a homebuilt version of a Santos-Dumont 20 Demoiselle (without an engine) on the ground. The remaining four images were taken from the grandstands during the 1911 Harvard-Boston Aero Meet held August 26 through September 4, 1911; two of these provide distant views of a Burgess F (Wright Model B) Moth biplane in flight.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of digital image files scanned from ten 4 x 5 inch glass plate negatives loaned by the donor for copying. Six images are views of an unidentified American homebuilt version of a Santos-Dumont 20 Demoiselle, seen without an engine in the yard of an unidentified property. Four images are views taken from the half-price chairs viewing section adjacent to the grandstand seating area at the 1911 Harvard-Boston Aero Meet, providing views over the heads of spectators of the start/finish line, the scoreboard, and several aircraft seen at a distance. Two views show a Burgess F (Wright Model B) Moth biplane in flight.

Digital images are grouped into two folders by subject.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Wealthy Brazilian aircraft designer and aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont graciously allowed free public access to his designs, many of which were extensively published in the aeronautical periodicals of the 1908-1913 period. Early in 1909, Santos-Dumont produced his most famous model, the No. 20 Demoiselle, inspiring many early aviation enthusiasts to build their own version of the Demoiselle in barns and backyards around the country. The homebuilt version seen here, probably constructed somewhere in the suburbs of the Boston, Massachusetts, area circa 1911, shows all the characteristics of a Santos-Dumont 20 Demoiselle design (square-tipped monoplane wing, cruciform tail, triangular fuselage framework, and tricycle gear) despite its lack of an engine and less-than-rigid bamboo frame. The unidentified young man seen seated at the controls in one view is presumably the builder.
The second Harvard-Boston Aero Meet (a.k.a. 2nd Annual Squantum Air Meet) was held at Harvard Aviation Field south of Boston on the Squantum peninsula (near the "Atlantic" railroad station), Quincy, Massachusetts, August 26 through September 4, 1911. The international contestants raced for money prizes, and the event attracted thousands of spectators. Among the fourteen aviators competing were three flying Burgess F (Wright Model B) Moth biplanes built by the Starling Burgess Company in nearby Marblehead, Massachusetts (northeast of Boston): Harry N. Atwood, George H. Mannor, and Clifford L. Webster. Air meet competitors challenged each other in ten events: Accuracy, Bomb Dropping, Cross-Country Flight, Quick Starting, Speed Contest, Passenger-Carrying Speed, Figure-Eight Speed, Weight Carrying and Dropping, Altitude Speed, and Exhibition Flying.

Immediate Source of Acquisition
John Powers, original negatives loaned for copying, 2018, NASM.2018.0062
Processing Information
Arranged, described, and encoded by Melissa A. N. Keiser, 2018.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
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.
Preferred Citation
Early Boston Area Aviation Photography, NASM Acc. 2018.0062, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- Competitions Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautical sports Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151