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Rare Books and Journals on Aviation Now Digitized

Fantastic Plan Presented by Citizen Monge, of England, in 1798
1798 plan for an airship, featured in 1910 issue of Aircraft

In the early 20th century, few things excited the public more than the development of mechanized flying machines.  Whether aircraft or dirigible, these machines were documented in the specialized and popular literature of the day.  The Smithsonian Libraries is committed to digitizing its special collection of rare books and journals on the invention and growth of aviation. Many of the tiles we’ve scanned and digitized to date are accessible through the Internet Archive.

Titles that can be viewed and downloaded include: Aeronautics (U.S. 1908-1915), Aircraft (U.S. 1910-1915), L’Aerophile (France 1893-1910), Bibliography of Aeronautics (U.S. 1909-1932).

Also scanned are the Journal des Marches, unique mission logs of one of the World War I Lafayette Escadrille squadrons of U.S. volunteer pilots who flew and fought for France.

These volumes are the first of what we hope will be many more accessible histories of those first years of human powered flight, which the Smithsonian Institution Libraries can share with the world.

An Aircraft journal cover fantasy illustration:

Aircraft v. 1 (Mar. 1910 - Feb. 1911)
Cover Illustration: Aircraft v. 1 (Mar. 1910 – Feb. 1911)

From the same issue of Aircraft:

Aircraft, v.1 no.1 1910 p. 6

Aircraft v.1 is.1 1910, p. 7

Aircraft v.1 no.1 1910, p.15

Aircraft v.1 no.1 1910, p.26

One Comment

  1. Hello, I have quite some old (30’s, 40’s, 50’s) various British and American avaition journals, full years, nicely bound, for sale for family/financial reasons. If ineterested I will send a full list.
    Best regards
    Laszlo Komlos, Budapest, Hungary

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