History in Flight at the American Heritage Center

On this day in 1927 Charles Lindbergh landed his plane in Paris and gained instant fame for being the first to fly across the Atlantic solo.  In honor of this day in aviation history the American Heritage Center is excited to highlight some of its aviation collections.

Richard Leferink learned to fly during World War I. When the war ended he eventually settled in Wyoming and started an air cargo business throughout Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, South Dakota, and even Canada.  Leferink’s collection includes scrapbooks and correspondence kept through his aeronautical career.

Aviation scene from Richard Leferink scrapbook, 1923-1944. Richard Leferink Scrapbook, #8979, Box 1, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Aviation scene from Richard Leferink scrapbook, 1923-1944. Richard Leferink Scrapbook, #8979, Box 1, University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Martin Jensen was an innovator in aviation history by researching and designing new aircraft as well building a place in the business of aviation, including the establishment of his own company.  Jensen was also a seasoned stunt pilot, and participated in the 1927 James D. Dole Derby Trans-Pacific Air Race.  Jensen’s collection includes photographs, scrapbooks, and correspondence about his aeronautic developments.

Jensen’s collection is not the only aviation collection featuring aviation developments and business.  The Manufacturers Aircraft Association encouraged and aided aeronautical development.  The association’s records contain information about different companies, designs and patents, expositions, and competitions.  Trans World Airlines contain records regarding not only the company but aircraft vendors as well, including Boeing and Lockheed.

American Heritage Center aviation collections also go beyond U.S. history.  For example  Wolfgang Klemperer’s  papers (an aeronautical engineer who did eventually come to the U.S.) contain visuals of German aviation during World War I.

Aircraft type Lohnergroβflugzeug [10], 1915. Wolfgang Klemperer papers, #10955, Box 2, Folder 6. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

Aircraft type Lohnergroβflugzeug [10], 1915. Wolfgang Klemperer papers, #10955, Box 2, Folder 6. University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center.

 For more information regarding the American Heritage Center’s aviation and other transportation records collection guides are available online. In addition, some photos and other material from aeronautical collections have been digitized and are accessible through our digital collections site.

-Amanda Stow, Reference Archivist

 

 

 

 

 

 

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