National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division

Ninety-Nines, Inc. History Books Collection

Accession No. XXXX-0470


NASM ref no. 9A00698

National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, DC

David Schwartz

© Smithsonian Institution, 2002



Historical note

On November 2, 1929, twenty-six licensed women pilots gathered together at Curtiss Field, Valley Stream, Long Island, New York, to discuss the formation of a club "to promote women pilots among themselves, and to encourage other women to fly, as well as to break down general opposition to aviation." [1]  After that first meeting, letters were sent out to the 117 licensed women pilots in the United States, giving all of them the opportunity to become charter members in the new club. The name of the club was to be determined by the number of women who wished to join. When 99 letters were returned by the approved date, the name became The Ninety-Nines. Many famous female pilots of the time, including Amelia Earhart, Ruth Elder, Viola Gentry, Phoebe Omlie, and Louise Thaden were charter members.

In the succeeding years, the Ninety-Nines have ably fulfilled the purpose set forth in the original letter. Many aviation records have been set by members of the Ninety-Nines. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to pilot an aircraft across the Atlantic and in 1936 Louise Thaden and Blanche Noyes won the Bendix Trophy Race. Since 1941, the organization has granted a variety of scholarships and grants to members who are seeking advanced training in specialized branches of aviation. Today, the Ninety-Nines, Inc. has grown to include 6500 members in 35 countries.


1Clara Trenckmann to Mr. Skinner and Mr. Mellen, October 1, 1929. "September 1, 1929 - September 1, 1930," Folder 1, Box 1, Ninety-Nines Inc., History Books Collection (Acc.XXXX-0470). Archives Division, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC. [back]




Scope and Content notes

This collection consists of 19 bound scrapbooks and 34 unbound scrapbooks chronicling the history of the Ninety-Nines. Some of the volumes are described with a date range (September 1, 1937 - September 1, 1938), while others are described with a volume number and date range (Volume 28 1956 - 1957), etc. Organization of the Ninety-Nines History Books varies somewhat over the years. Usually, the books begin with photographs of the officers of the national organization, followed by minutes and a program from the annual meeting. The books end with copies of The Ninety-Nines Newsletters from the previous year. Additional contents of each book are dependent upon the events that happened in a particular year. In the early years of the organization, the books include further refinements of the constitution and by-laws, and various newspaper and magazine articles regarding accomplishments of the organization or individual members. In subsequent years, the history books focused more on air races in which members participated or various events sponsored by the organization.

The researcher will note that in 1953 volume numbers were assigned to the books. For the sake of continuity and clarity in the finding aid, the processing archivist assigned volume numbers where appropriate. These numbers appear in square brackets where appropriate, i.e. [35]. Due to the fragile nature of the bound scrapbooks, photocopying may not be possible.




Collection material

 
Box  Folder 

1 1 September 1, 1929 - September 1, 1930
2 August 23, 1929 - September 1, 1930
3 September 1, 1930 - September 1, 1931
4 September 1, 1931 - September 1, 1932
5 September 1, 1932 - September 1, 1933
6 September 1, 1933 - September 1, 1934
7 September 1, 1934 - September 1, 1935
8 September 1, 1935 - September 1, 1936
9 September 1, 1936 - September 1, 1937

2 1 September 1, 1937 - September 1, 1938
2 September 1, 1938 - September 1, 1939
3 September 1, 1939 - September 1, 1940
4 September 1, 1940 - September 1, 1941
5 September 1, 1941 - September 1, 1942
6 September 1, 1942 - September 1, 1943
7 September 1, 1943 - September 1, 1944
8 September 1, 1944 - September 1, 1945
9 September 1, 1945 - September 1, 1946

3 1 September 1, 1946 - September 1, 1947
2 September, 1947 - September, 1948
3 September, 1948 - September, 1949
4 September, 1949 - September, 1950

4 1 September, 1950 - September, 1951
2 September, 1951 - August, 1952
3 September, 1952 - August, 1953
4 Volume XXV 1953 - 1954
5 Volume XXVI 1954 - 1955
6 Volume 27 1955 - 1956

5 1 Volume 28 1956 - 1957
2 Volume 29 1957 - 1958
3 Volume 30 1958 - 1959
4 Volume 31 1959 - 1960
5 Volume 32 1960 - 1961
6 Volume 33 1961 - 1962
7 Volume 34 1962 - 1963
8 Copies of The Ninety-Nines, Inc. News Letter [1955 - 1960]
9 "Forty Years On" by Margaret Kentley, 1967 [Unpublished Manuscript]

Box  Volume 

6 [35] July 1963 - July 1964

7 36 1964 - 1965

8 37 1965 - 1966

9 38 1966 - 1967

10 39 1967 - 1968

11 40 1968 - 1969

12 41 1969 - 1970

13 42 1970 - 1971

14 43 1971 - 1972

15 [44] 1972 - 1973

16 [45] 1973 - 1974

17 [46] 1974 - 1975

18 [47] 1975 - 1976

19 [48] 1976 - 1977

20 [49] September, 1977 - September, 1978

21 [50] September, 1978 - September, 1979
[51] September, 1979 - September, 1980

22 [52] September 1, 1980 - September 1, 1981

23 [53] September 1, 1981 - September 1, 1982