Langley Experiments Scrapbooks

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0294
Creators:
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930
Dates:
1914-1915
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.23 Cubic feet
(1 slim legal box)
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of two scrapbooks kept by Glenn H. Curtiss and filled with photographs of himself and Samuel Langley. The photos show the two men and their experiments with Langley's aircraft, the Langley Aerodrome. The trial flights were conducted on Lake Kewka, near Hammondsport, NY. Each photo is labeled with a caption and a date. The second (chronologically) book of the set is a continuation of the photos of the Langley experiments by Glenn H. Curtiss, and while the photos are numbered, they have no captions or labeling on them. Some dates are available on the photos. Curtiss' autograph appears inside the cover of one scrapbook.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Nine days before the Wright brothers' first successful flight, Smithsonian Secretary Samuel Langley had the trial for his steam-powered machine, called the Great Aerodrome. Heavily funded by the United States government, the Aerodrome broke apart almost immediately upon takeoff in a highly-publicized event, and Langley and the Smithsonian Institution suffered embarrassment over the incident. After Langley passed away in 1906, his successor, Charles Walcott, claimed that although Langley may not have flown that December morning the Aerodrome was certainly capable of it. Walcott's "proof" was in a rebuilt version of Langley's Aerodrome, which was later successfully flown by American airplane manufacturer Glenn Curtiss. Curtiss, who was engaged in a patent suit with the Wright brothers, rebuilt and flew Langley's Aerodrome with 1914 modifications with the hope of showing the courts that the Wrights did not invent the airplane. While Curtiss eventually lost the patent suit, the flight was used by the Smithsonian to redeem Langley's role in the history of flight.

General
General
NASMrev

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

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- Records Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- Law and legislation Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley Aerodrome Family Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley Aerodrome A (Great Aerodrome, Man-Carrying Aerodrome) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley Aerodrome A, Curtiss 1914 Rebuild Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Walcott, Charles D. (Charles Doolittle), 1850-1927 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912 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/