|Scope and content note|
The Moisant Family--John, Alfred and Matilde--helped spark America's early interest in aviation. John Moisant (1868-1910) trained at the Bleriot School in France and made the first successful cross-country passenger-carrying flight from Paris to London in 1910. Later that fall he competed in the Gordon-Bennett Trophy races. He was killed in December, 1910 while flying an exhibition in New Orleans, Louisiana. His brother Alfred was president of the Moisant Aviation School and of the Hempstead Plains Aviation Company. Alfred also organized the Moisant International Aviators, Inc., which embarked upon a series of flight exhibitions in the United States and Mexico in 1911 and 1912. The Moisants' sister, Matilde (1887-1964), joined the family's exhibition tour and was the second American woman to become a licensed pilot. Matilde established two altitude records before giving up exhibition flying in 1912.
This collection consists of three oversized scrapbooks containing newspaper accounts of the Moisants' flying escapades, as well as press releases and writings. The articles also discuss the following aviators who were involved with the Moisants: Harriet Quimby, Roland Gerros, Rene Barrier, Rene Simon, John J. Frisbie, Charles Hamilton, and S.S. Jerwan. Dates, condition of scrapbooks, and a brief description of content for each scrapbook are listed below.
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Archives Division also holds additional materials about the Moisant Family. Biographical information can be found in the biographical fiche collection at the NASM Archives/Garber Facility. In the NASM archives downtown facility, we recommend the Biographical Files which contain additional newspaper and journal articles, letters, memorabilia and photographs. For more information on John Moisant, please see the John B. Moisant Scrapbook Collection (Accession number XXXX-0536) on microfiche.
For photographic materials please see the NASM videodisc files located at the NASM archives facility downtown. The images can be seen on NASM videodisc 2B and 7B. In some cases, there are original videodisc prints available in the NASM archives facility downtown and copy negatives at the Smithsonian Institution, Office of Imaging, Printing and Photographic Services (OIPP). Please consult a staff member for more details and about ordering procedures.