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Additional Images
Primary Object
Photo Album
Artifact Attributes
To Come
Earle Lewis Ovington and others unknown
Title/Object Name
Photography Album
Photographic Paper
10"h X 12"w X 1 1/2"d
Artifact Descriptions
The album belonged to pioneer flier Earle Ovington and contains a photographic record of early manned flight in France and the United States, including other pioneer fliers and airplane manufacturers, air races, manufacturing plants, training equipment, and various images related to Ovington's flying career.
Artifact Origin Map
France & the United States
The Collections Aviation | Early Flight
Early Flight

Updated: October 5, 2006

mong the Mission Inn Museum's aviation collections, the Earle Ovington photography album (circa 1911) and the Los Angeles air show program dated January 14, 1910 serve as extraordinary evidence of pioneer manned flight.

Ovington was best known as the first air mail pilot; he also made significant contributions as an aeronautical engineer and inventor, and worked as an engineering assistant to Thomas Edison. Ovington’s album contains pictures of many of the “Who’s Who” of early flight, including Sopwith, Curtiss, Willard, and Blerio. Images of airships, bi-planes, kites, single winged planes and hydroplanes are included among the photographs, along with images recording the hazards of flight. Ovington’s record-making first airmail flight in the fall of 1911 is also represented in the album.

The Los Angeles air show program proclaiming to be the “First in America” features aeroplanes, airships, and balloons; Willard and Curtiss are the among the aviators highlighted, offering a fascinating glimpse into the days of early flight.
Online Links & Resources


The Early Birds of Aviation, Inc.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum


Chaikin, Andrew and Smithsonian Insititution. (2000). Air and Space: The National Air and Space Museum Story of Flight. Boston: Little, Brown/Bulfinch Press.

Rinard, Judith E. (2002). The Story of Flight: The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books.

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