On May 20-21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh literally flew into history when he crossed the Atlantic Ocean in his Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis, thus becoming the first pilot to fly solo and nonstop from New York to Paris. This flight made Lindbergh a household name and catapulted him into fame and celebrity. The objects of popular culture in the National Collection display everything from ashtrays to wristwatches reflect the public adulation for Lindbergh and the powerful commercial response to his celebrity. More than 75 years after the Spirit's historic flight, Lindbergh's name still has the power help sell manufactured goods.
Gift of the Stanley King Family.
This toy is comprised of three parts. The base is a cylindrical metal tube that has the facade of a lighthouse painted on the outside. On this faced is black lettering above the door that reads "Spirit of St. Louis" Attached to the top of the tube is a yellow bar that extends to equal lengths at either end. Two (2) airplanes are also included with this toy. One of the airplanes has an electrical wire, wrapped in fabric, attached to a motor inside the plane just behind the propeller. This wire runs down the tube and out the bottom. There is a standard two prong plug and switch that can turn the toy on or off. The body of this plane is blue while the wing, wheels and propeller are yellow. A metal hook is attached to the top of the airplane that connects it to the yellow bar extending from the base. The other airplane is exactly like the previous except a weight has replaced the motor, there is no electrical wire and the propeller is brown in color. The airplane with the motor is heavier than its counterweight. When plugged in the heavier airplane's propeller spins and builds up speed, eventually the airplane lifts off and both planes and the bar rotate around the base.