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Type of Item
Telegram from Orville Wright in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to His Father Announcing Four Successful Flights, 1903 December 17
At approximately 10:35 in the morning on December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first powered, controlled, and sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet (37 meters). Orville and his brother Wilbur made three more flights that day, the longest of which covered 852 feet (260 meters) in 59 seconds. With this telegram, sent from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in the late afternoon of the same day, Orville informed their father of the achievement. The text reads: “Success four flights this ...
Wilbur Wright Working in the Bicycle Shop
This 1897 photograph shows Wilbur Wright (1867–1912) at work in the bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, which he ran with his brother Orville (1871–1948). After starting a printing business and a weekly newspaper, in 1892 the brothers opened the shop to rent, sell, and eventually manufacture bicycles. Neither brother had education beyond high school, but they became fascinated by the possibilities of human flight and read and studied all they could about aerodynamics. Having concluded that all published tables on air pressures on curved surfaces were wrong, they ...
Recommended Facilities for Search and Rescue, Middle East Region
This map was prepared for the Middle East Region Air Navigation Meeting of the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization (PICAO), which took place in Cairo, Egypt, in October 1946. It shows political borders and recommended facilities for search and rescue, including rescue-coordinating and rescue-alerting centers, bases for different types of search-and-rescue aircraft, and facilities for surface vessels. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) was established under a convention signed by 52 countries at the November 1944 International Civil Aviation Conference in Chicago. From August 1945 to August 1947, as the ...
Airlines of the Eastern Mediterranean and Adjacent Areas: As of October, 1947
This map of airline routes in the Eastern Mediterranean and adjacent areas was compiled and drawn by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency for the Department of State, based on information supplied by the Foreign Air Transport Division of the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board. It presumably was for use by diplomats at the newly established International Civil Aviation Organization. Some of the airlines whose routes are shown exist to the present day; others have merged, gone bankrupt, or changed their names. Athens, Cairo, Lydda (Lod in present-day Israel; until ...
Middle East Air Traffic Control Scheme
This map, produced in 1946 by the Survey of Egypt, shows a scheme for air traffic control in the Middle East. The International Convention on Civil Aviation, adopted by 52 countries in 1944, provided for the establishment of an international air-traffic control system aimed at preventing aircraft collisions. The world’s airspace was to be divided into contiguous regions, within each of which all traffic would be controlled by a designated air-traffic control authority. On longer flights, aircraft are passed by radio from the control of one region to another ...
Map of the Middle East
This map of the Middle East was made by the Führungsstab der Luftwaffe (the operations staff of the German air force) in 1943. The map is labeled “Secret.” Covering the region from the eastern Mediterranean to the border of Afghanistan with British India (present-day Pakistan), it shows the locations of first- and second-class air bases, operational bases, landing strips, and airfields under construction, as of March 15, 1943. Six inset maps—of Aden, Mosul, Cyprus, Baghdad, Gaza-Haifa, and Damascus-Aleppo—provide additional detail about locations with more well-developed aviation infrastructure. Railroad ...
Nighttime View of a Space Shuttle Launch from the Kennedy Space Center
This photograph shows a launch of the Space Shuttle, the world’s first reusable spacecraft, from the Kennedy Space Center on the Atlantic coast of Florida. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) developed the shuttle to lower the costs of travel into space and to support the construction of the International Space Station and other space missions. The first shuttle, the Columbia, lifted off on April 12, 1981. Four other shuttles--Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavour–were built over the life of the program. The Challenger and the ...
Tamiami Trail Blazers Holding Sign
Many Floridians used to view the Everglades as a wasteland. Under the first administration of Governor William D. Bloxham (governor, 1881–85 and 1897–1901), the state sold 4 million acres (1.6 million hectares) of Everglades land to Pennsylvania real estate developer Hamilton Disston for $1 million, initiating a decades-long drainage effort that resulted in the development and urbanization of south Florida. More than half of the Everglades had been drained by 1950. Barron Gift Collier, Florida’s largest landowner, played an important role in the drainage program through ...
Florida Moonport USA
This early 1960s black-and-white film was made as a tribute to the U.S. space program in Florida. It begins by showing a launch sequence for Project Mercury, the first U.S. human spaceflight program. Also shown are examples of the technology of the day, including pocket transistor radios and massive computers. Twelve gallons of gas cost $3.60. Also seen is an unsuccessful rocket launch. The film highlights the broader economic and social effects of the space program on Florida, including the large numbers of highly educated personnel who ...
The West-India Pilot, Containing Piloting Directions for Port Royal Harbour in Jamaica, in and out through the Kays ...
Captain Joseph Smith Speer was an English mariner who spent many years in Central America and the Caribbean. He created detailed maps and guides based on his personal experiences. In 1766, he published The West-India Pilot, containing 13 maps and detailed navigational instructions for passage between Caribbean ports. An expanded edition with 26 maps appeared in 1771. Speer’s instructions to mariners were practical and straightforward. They pointed out hazards to be avoided, such as rocks and shallow waters, and advised captains on how to sail and anchor along the ...
First Flight, December 17, 1903
This photograph shows the first powered, controlled, and sustained flight of a heavier-than-air machine, which took place in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, at approximately 10:35 in the morning on December 17, 1903. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet (37 meters). The photo shows Orville Wright at the controls, lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright is running alongside to balance the machine and has just released his hold on the forward upright of the right ...