National Air and Space Museum Archives

Pilots' Licenses Collection

Collection ID:
This collection contains materials in
, and
Physical Description:
0.33 Cubic feet
1 box
107 (Shared)
This collection contains examples of pilot's licenses that were issued in the early 20th century. It includes licenses from various nations such as France, Italy, Canada and the United States.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of a variety of pilot's licenses issued by civilian, government and military organizations dating from 1911 to 1944. The collection contains 52 items, and includes a variety of license types and personal effects relating to each pilot. Licenses issued by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) form a large portion of the non-military parts of the collection, with four of the FAI's founding organizations being featured in the collection. These are Aero Club D'Italia, the Aero Club of America, the Aéro-Club de France and the Royal Aero Club. The US Navy and Air Corps form the majority of military licenses in the collection, with licenses issued by the US Department of Commerce representing civil licenses issued by the Government. Included with many licenses in the collection are other forms of personnel identification attributed to the individual. Examples of these personal effects include a firearms license, an Aviation country club membership card, a business cards and a London-issued driver's license.
Included in this collection are licenses belonging to Raymond Emmanuel Bollack, Laura Bromwell, John Milton Bryant, Frank T. Coffyn, Curtis La Q. Day, Richard Duncan, Lester D. Gardner, G. S. Gillespie, Paul R. Gruhler, Beckwith Havens, Frederick A. Hoover, George M. Keightley, Benjamin Scovill Kelsey, Alfred S. Koch, Lawrence Leon, Grover Loening, Zenos Ramsey Miller, Thomas DeWitt Milling, Charles L. Morris, Thea Rasche, Roland Rohlfs, D. deR. M. Scarrit, Walter J. Shaffer, Thomas E. Springer, Norman Sweetser, Alexander Blair Thaw II, Ralph H. Upson, Clifford L. Webster and E. A. Yeager. A blank license attributed to the Service de la Navigation Aérienne is also included.

This collection is arranged by alphabetical order by last name of the licensee.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Pilot's licenses became a requirement in the United States after the 1926 Air Commerce Act, however, private organizations issued their own licenses prior to this date. Prominent international organizations, such as the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI), issued licenses to aviators around the world. The FAI was founded in 1905 through the collaboration of aviation clubs from eight countries, those being France, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Great Britain, Spain, Switzerland, and the United States. These licenses often served to allow individuals to participate in aeronautic events endorsed by these organizations. Licenses were available for different vehicles with licenses available across various disciplines, with examples being separate documents for balloonists and heavier-than-air pilots. Military organizations often had their own licenses with their own standards. Including examples of licenses issued by various international organizations, the collection provides insight into the types of license that were issued to military and civilian pilots during the first half of the twentieth century.

Isaac Middleton (Intern 2019)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gifts and transfers from various sources and unknown, NASM.XXXX.0650.
Processing Information
Arranged, described, and encoded by Isaac Middleton (Intern 2019), 2019.

Digital Content
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Using the Collection
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
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access.
Preferred Citation
Pilots' Licenses Collection, NASM.XXXX.0650, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Air pilots Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Women air pilots Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Identity cards Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coffyn, Frank, 1878-1960 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Havens, Beckwith. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Keightley, George M., 1889-1967 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Upson, Ralph Hazlett, 1888-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aero Club of America Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Aeronautic Association (U.S.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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