Scope and Contents
This collection consists of a photo album and a scrapbook kept by Benjamin Scovill "Ben" Kelsey to document his life and aviation career. The photo album measures approximately 12.25 by 9.5 inches and documents Kelsey's early flying career and other aviation activities he was involved in from the period of about 1920 to 1932. Many of the photographs were taken around Garden City, New York or in and around Connecticut. Aircraft depicted in the album include the Curtiss JN-4 Jenny, Standard (NJ) J-1, Bellanca WB-2
, Dayton Wright DH-4 Mailplane, Irwin Meteorplane C-C-1, Alexander Eaglerock Biplane, Waco ASO, Martin (Glenn L.) MB-2, Ford 2-AT Air Pullman, Air Transport
, Sikorsky Standard-Sikorsky SN-1, Avro 504, Sikorsky S-31, Sperry Messenger, Burnelli (Remington-Burnelli) RB-1, Curtiss Oriole, Curtiss CR-1 Racer, Udet U 12 Flamingo, as well as numerous other models by manufacturers such as Fokker, Curtiss, Boeing, Stinson, and Sikorsky. Besides Kelsey, other notable aviators pictured in the album include Laura Bromwell, Charles S. "Casey" Jones, Lloyd W. Bertaud, Walter E. Johnson, Earl W. Fleet, Robert Stevens Fogg, Gus Graff, Bertrand Blanchard Acosta, Harold T. "Slim" Lewis, Harry Bradford Chin, Thea Rasche, Richard H. Depew, and Leigh Wade. The album also contains aerial photographs.
The scrapbook, which measures 11 by 16 inches, is mainly composed of newspaper clippings, but also includes magazine articles, photographs, correspondence, certificates and other ephemera. It covers the period of approximately 1934 to 1947 and documents Kelsey's military career during this period. Aircraft seen in the scrapbook include the Curtiss P-36 Hawk, Curtiss P-37 (Hawk 75I), Lockheed XP-38/P-38 Lightning, Douglas XB-19 (XBLR-2), Curtiss CW-21 Interceptor-Fighter, Bell XFM-1 Airacuda, and the Douglas C-54 Skymaster.
The collection also contains a U. S. Army Air Forces document, "Air Route Manual: United States to Great Britain," prepared by Air Movements Unit, Operational Intelligence Section AFDIS – A2, May 25, 1942 (Second Revision). This publication is a pilot's briefing document prepared in support of
. It was designed for use by a Lockheed P-38 Lightning pilot and provides detailed radio and navigational information for all airfields en route (U. S. and Canada, Greenland, Iceland, and the British Isles) including aerial photographs, prepared strip maps marked with the magnetic course to be flown, and general information. It also contains eight large sectional maps, two American Airlines Radio Range and Mileage Charts, and six Ordnance Survey of Great Britain Aeronautical Maps.