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35% Complete

17 Total Pages 1 Contributing Members

Fred Howard Vin Fiz Special Papers - Train Registration Tables

The first crossing of the United States by airplane was achieved by Calbraith Perry Rodgers in 1911 in his Wright EX biplane, named the Vin Fiz. Rodgers decided to attempt the coast-to-coast flight in response to publisher William Randolph Hearst's New York American challenge which offered a prize of $50,000 for the first transcontinental flight to be competed in 30 days. Rodgers began his journey from Sheepshead Bay, New York, on September 17, 1911, and as the flight was punctuated by numerous stops, delays, and accidents the 30-day time limit Hearst imposed for the prize had expired before Rodgers reached California on November 5, 1911. To finance the trip, Rodgers had secured backing from the Armour Company, a Chicago firm which was then introducing a new grape-flavored soft drink called Vin Fiz. Armour provided Rodgers with a special train, called the Vin Fiz Special, with cars for the accommodation of Rodgers' family and his support crew, and a "hangar" car, which was a rolling workshop, filled with spare parts to repair and maintain the airplane over the course of the flight. There was even an automobile on board to pick up Rodgers after forced landings away from the rail line. Fred Howard, the division passenger agent for the Erie Railroad, was placed in charge of the Vin Fiz Special and soon also took charge of the command center, juggling both railroad matters and aviation repairs. In Chicago, Howard was commended for his effort and asked to continue with the flight to California, but he declined. Note: Please do not describe any images, photographs, or maps that appear in this project.

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52% Complete

19 Total Pages 2 Contributing Members

Helen Richey Pilot Log and Collection [Suskalo]

This collection consists of Helen Richey's pilot log for 1944-1945, newspaper clippings covering the period from 1933 to 1944 and seven photographs of Ms. Richey. Help us share Richey's story by transcribing her pilot log. Please view the instructions for transcribing tables here.

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9% Complete

41 Total Pages 11 Contributing Members

John and Charles Wise Ballooning Collection - Clippings

John Wise (1808-1879), known to his contemporaries as the "Father of American ballooning", made his first balloon ascension in 1835, flying from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Haddenfield, New Jersey. During his long career, he was to make 446 free balloon ascensions in such craft as the Meteor, the United States, the Experiment, the Vesperus, and the Comet. In 1855, Wise flew 1,200 miles in 19 hours and 50 minutes in the Atlantic, setting a duration record that would stand until 1910. In the 1850s, Charles Wise, the aeronaut's son, joined him in his activities. In 1879, at the age of 71, John Wise made an ascension with passenger George Burr from St. Louis in the balloon Pathfinder; the balloon, Wise, and Burr were lost in Lake Michigan.

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63% Complete

19 Total Pages 7 Contributing Members

John and Charles Wise Ballooning Collection - Manuscripts and Stationery

John Wise (1808-1879), known to his contemporaries as the "Father of American ballooning", made his first balloon ascension in 1835, flying from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Haddenfield, New Jersey. During his long career, he was to make 446 free balloon ascensions in such craft as the Meteor, the United States, the Experiment, the Vesperus, and the Comet. In 1855, Wise flew 1,200 miles in 19 hours and 50 minutes in the Atlantic, setting a duration record that would stand until 1910. In the 1850s, Charles Wise, the aeronaut's son, joined him in his activities. In 1879, at the age of 71, John Wise made an ascension with passenger George Burr from St. Louis in the balloon Pathfinder; the balloon, Wise, and Burr were lost in Lake Michigan.

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46% Complete

99 Total Pages 18 Contributing Members

Yamada Diary

Help us transcribe this WWII Japanese diary. At the end of World War II, an unknown United States Marine brought home several Japanese-language items. These items were subsequently sold and the purchaser's son later donated them to the National Air and Space Museum. In 2003 and 2004, Museum volunteers, Mr. Koji Hayama and Mr. Tom Momiyama, translated parts of the material and they believe that they were created by a Mr. Yamada, who was probably part of an aircraft ground crew with occasional flight duties, and served in Manchuria, Korea, Burma, and the Philippines. Transcriptions of this diary will help National Air and Space Museum curators as they begin research for new exhibits. Please note that this diary is written in Japanese, and requires access to a Japanese keyboard, and basic knowledge of the language, for transcription. NASM staff are also interested in any translations that can be provided of the diary's contents. Please separate any translations by including them below the transcriptions for each page, and by indicating the translation with brackets. For example: [[translation]] text here [[/translation]]. Please reach out with any questions.

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