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.