National Air and Space Museum Archives

Early Aeronautical News Clippings (Alexander Graham Bell) Collection


Collection ID:
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922
Beals, Jessie Tarbox
Physical Description:
23.64 Cubic feet
18 records center boxes; 1 11x17x3 flatbox
The Early Aeronautical Newsclippings (Alexander Graham Bell) Collection (NASM.XXXX.0086) consists of 19 boxes of material about early aviation and aeronautics collected by Alexander Graham Bell between 1906 and 1912.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
This collection consists of newspaper clippings gathered by Dr. Bell during the early years of aviation. The material, compiled from American, British, French, and German papers, as well as others, covers a variety of subjects from balloon and airship ascents, air shows, races, and record flights, to accidents, technological developments, and applications. The collection ends with an album of photographs of the aeronautical exhibit at the Automobile Show held in New York in 1907. Supplemental indexes were created for the collection at later times.
Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.


The collection is arranged by in the following series:
1. Scrapbooks
2. Indexes
3. Photographs

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Although best known as the inventor of the telephone, Dr. Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) expressed an interest in a wide range of activities, including aviation. By the turn of the 20th century he was experimenting with kites and kite structures, including his famous tetrahedral kite "Cygnus," which carried a man aloft in 1907 and was intended to be fitted with a motor. Bell supported the experiments of Samuel Langley from 1891 on, and had some influence in obtaining War Department funding for Langley's aeronautical work. After the successful flight of the Wright Brothers in 1903 he formed, with Glenn H. Curtiss, F. W. Baldwin, J. A. D. McCurdy, and Lt. T. Selfridge, the Aerial Experimental Association, which experimented with a number of flying machines before the founders dissolved the group in 1909. Bell's contributions to aeronautics are reflected in his being issued nine patents for various advances in "aerial vehicles" and "flying machines."


Amanda Buel
Immediate Source of Acquisition
No donor information, NASM.XXXX.0086, unknown
Processing Information
A preliminary index was created by John Tucker between 1972 and 1974. A box list was completed by Paul Silbermann in 1987. This most recent finding aid was arranged, described, and encoded by Amanda Buel, 2019.

Digital Content

More …

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 Aeronautical Newsclippings (Alexander Graham Bell) Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0086, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916 Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Periodicals Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aerial Experiment Association Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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