AidSpace Blog

Category Archives: Hidden Treasures

From the Library: Orville Wright Signed Book

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On September 24, 1959, President Eisenhower declared December 17 to be Wright Brothers Day—thus commemorating the anniversary of the legendary duo’s flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903. In honor of Wright Brothers Day, Smithsonian Libraries and the National Air and Space Museum turn to a piece of history found in the special collections housed in   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: David Klein’s TWA Travel Posters

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In the 1950s and ’60s, when commercial air travel was still considered glamorous, Trans World Airlines (TWA) was one of the world’s premier passenger carriers. TWA began in 1929 as Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT). Rather than delivering mail like many carriers at that time, TAT decided to break into the passenger market by offering cross-country   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: Mercury Primate Capsule and Ham the Astrochimp

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On May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space. However, three months earlier NASA had launched “Number 65” on a mission that helped pave the way for Shephard’s momentous flight. Number 65 was a male chimpanzee born in 1957 in the French Cameroons in West Africa. After being captured by trappers, he   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: Octave Chanute and the Richard Anemometer

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Many people, if not most, have never heard of Octave Chanute or know what an anemometer is, but the man and the instrument both played an important part in Orville and Wilbur Wright’s aeronautical experiments. First, some background on Chanute. Octave Chanute was a Paris-born civil engineer in the United States who played a significant   …Continue Reading


Obscure Objects: “Knight of Death” Airplane Insignia

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You can’t read anything about French World War I pilot Charles Nungesser that doesn’t include descriptors such as flamboyant, audacious, undisciplined, rakish, and insubordinate. You’ll also find ace, fearless, bold, tenacious, and brave. He was the very definition of a dichotomy. Nungesser was born in Paris, France, in 1892. As a child he excelled in   …Continue Reading