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Alfred William Lawson (1869-1954) was born in London, England. Three weeks after Lawson's birth his family moved to Ontario, Canada. In 1872 the family moved again, this time to Detroit Michigan, where they became American citizens. In 1908, after a career in baseball, Lawson settled in Philadelphia where he launched a popular aviation magazine entitled _Fly_. Two years later he moved to New York City and started another aviation magazine entitled _Aircraft_. When the United States entered World War I, Lawson established the Lawson Aircraft Corporation to build training planes for the Army. Two prototypes were built, but orders were not contracted before the War was over. Lawson then formed the Lawson Airplane Company to build aircraft for the Lawson Air Transportation Company. The Lawson C-2, which Lawson called an airliner, was completed in August 1919. The following week it traveled from Milwaukee to New York City and Washington, DC. In 1920, on the basis of the success of his first airliner, Lawson designed a larger aircraft. Completed in 1921, an attempt to takeoff from a small field resulted in a crash and the end of his company. In 1928 Lawson made another attempt to enter the airline industry with a 100 passenger design, but it was never completed. Lawson spent his remaining 23 years promoting his economic philosophy, 'Lawsonomy.'




Lawson, Alfred W. (Alfred William), 1869-1954


[ca. 1920s-1940s]


Vivian J. Smith, gift/transfer, 1999, 1999-0046, unknown


1.33 Cubic feet ((1 legal document box) (1 flatbox) (1 oversized folder))

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of the following secondary source material relating to Alfred Lawson: photographs, newspaper and magazine articles, biographical information, advertisements, and his published writings. There are also some large broadsides relating to his lectures on Lawsonomy.


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Lawson (Alfred) C-2 Airliner


Conduct of life


Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States

Aircraft industry

Journalism, Aeronautical


Collection descriptions

Archival materials