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Special Collections and ArchivesExhibits
Exhibits featuring materials from Wright State University Libraries Special Collections & Archives
The Dayton-Wright Airplane Company was an integral part of aviation research and development during the World War I era. The company had three plants around the Dayton area. They performed research at the South Field where they developed advanced aircraft and weapons such as the Kettering Bug; an early cruise missile. Dayton-Wright built the De Havilland DH-4, the Liberty Engine, and the Standard J-1 to support the war effort. At the end of World War I Dayton-Wright continued to develop aircraft for the military. One of the innovative aircraft that came from Dayton-Wright was the RB-1 racer which had one of the first practical and operational retractable landing gear systems. The company was headed by Harold E. Talbott, Charles Kettering, and Orville Wright and had several well know early aviators among the ranks of the engineering division. The photographs in the collection show how the De Havilland DH-4 was built and allow a glimpse at the daily operation of the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company.
These digital reproductions of vintage French aviation postcards are from the Charles Lewis Collection in Dunbar Library's Special Collections and Archives. The images remind us of the precarious state of controlled, powered flight in the autumn of 1909. Printed in Lille, France, the images concentrate on French aeronauts such as Henry Farman, Louis Blériot and Louis Paulhan. The unknown publisher also chose to include international pioneers like Germany's Count Zeppelin, Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont, and Americans Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss. Women in aviation are represented by the daring Baroness Elise de Laroche, a student of the pilot, Gabriel Voisin. These pioneers of the air were among the most famous celebrities of their day.