Benson Russell Shaw (1893-1961) was an early aviator and aircraft designer who also worked as a draftsman and engineer for major aircraft companies including the Wright Company and Lawson Aircraft Corporation. Shaw also founded the Aeronautical Instrument Company. In addition to designing and constructing eight different aircraft, Shaw also redesigned and built a copy of a Morane-Saulnier monoplane in 1915. Shaw served as secretary of the National Aeronautic Association and in this capacity he was responsible for the technical supervision of the Detroit, St. Louis, Miami, Dayton and Baltimore Air Races during the period from 1922-1925. Shaw was hired in 1925 to oversee Henry Ford's airports and later was chief airport engineer for Stout Air Lines. In the late 1920s, Shaw supervised construction of Grand Canyon Airport and Koch Field in Flagstaff, Arizona and the improvement of Lambert Field in St. Louis, Missouri. Shaw then moved to Washington, D.C. and was a vice president at Morris Plan Bank. In 1942, Shaw enlisted in the U.S. Army and served in ordnance. In addition to the National Aeronautic Association, Shaw was a member of the Society of American Engineers and the Early Birds of Aviation.
Arranged, described, and encoded by Jessamyn Lloyd, 2018.
Donor unknown, Gift, unknown, XXXX.1202
0.24 Cubic feet (1 box)
Photo album that, based on caption information, appears to have been created by Benson Russell Shaw. Photographs show various aircraft and notable figures in aviation, as well as aerial photographs and scenes taken inside the Wright Company factory in Dayton, Ohio and the Lawson Aircraft Company in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
No restrictions on access
Collection is in original order.
This collection consists of a photo album, measuring approximately 11.25 by 7.5 inches, with a black cover and black paper pages and bound with string. The album contains black and white photographs of various sizes mounted on the pages, as well as some loose photographs and a few news clippings. Most of the photographs are labeled. Based on caption information contained in the album, it appears to have been created by Benson Russell Shaw. The photographs show aircraft including various airplanes designed by Benson Russell Shaw; a 1915 Heinrich (Aeroplane Co.) biplane; Huntington (NY) 1915 Tractor Biplane; Burnelli-Carisi Biplane (1915); Curtiss JN-4 Jenny; Wright-Martin Model V; Lawson (Alfred) M.T. One Primary Training Tractor; Lawson (Alfred) M.T. Two; Lawson (Alfred) L-4 Midnight Airliner (including interior views); and unidentified aircraft models made by Benoist, Voisin, and Curtiss. In addition to Shaw, notable figures in aviation shown in the photos include George L. Bumbaugh; John Guy Gilpatric; Peter Carl "Tex" Millman; Edwin M. Post, Jr.; Giovanni Emmanuele Angelo Leonardo "John" Carisi; Alfred W. Lawson; Caleb Smith Bragg; Jesse Gurney Vincent; Glenn Hammond Curtiss; and John Rodgers. The album also includes scenes of aircraft manufacturing; a flying demonstration at the Indiana State Fair in 1911; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway; interior views of the Wright Company factory in Dayton, Ohio; aerial views taken in 1917 of various sites in New York City, including the Statue of Liberty; aerial views taken of New Brunswick and Highland Park, New Jersey; testing of "Haskelite" veneer at Haskell Manufacturing Company; and views taken of the interior of the Lawson Aircraft Company in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Benson Russell Shaw Photo Album, Acc. XXXX.1202, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives