Ernest La Rue Jones (1883-1955) contributed in a myriad of ways during his lifetime to recording and preserving the history of flight. His commitment to organizational and national service is evident in the innovation marking his involvement in each sphere. Jones's most ambitious work, a chronology of American aviation, is contained in this collection and represents the culmination of more than a half-century of research, editing, and authorship in the nascent field of aviation history. Early glider flights at Morris Park, New York, established Ernest Jones's lifelong association with flight. He would soon become Secretary of the Aero Club of America (1906) and the editor of the first American aviation journal, Aeronautics (1907-1915). He was made President of the Aeronautics Manufacturers' Association in 1912 and was General Publicity Manager for the Wright-Martin Company in 1917. The advent of World War I brought a commission in the Army Air Service that would result in his becoming Chief Information Officer for the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). With the end of the War, Jones returned to civilian life, becoming editor of The National Aeronautical Review (1924-1926). In 1926, he began work for the Commerce Department and would be instrumental in organizing its aeronautical branch which would become the Civil Aeronautics Administration and later the Federal Aviation Administration. At the 1928 National Air Races, Jones co-founded the Early Birds, an organization of pilots having the distinction of having soloed before 1916. He would act as Secretary for the group for the remainder of his life, also editing the organization's publication, Chirp. The Second World War necessitated Jones's return to national service and he was assigned to the Historical Division of the Army Air Corps in 1943. Jones retired in 1949 and after his death in 1955 was interred in Arlington National Cemetery. Throughout his lifetime, Ernest Jones pursued the completion of a comprehensive history of American aviation. This chronology (see Series III description), which remained unfinished at his death, is comprised of tales of flight in legend and literature followed by a vast number of detailed factual accounts of the history of lighter- and heavier-than-air flight. It is accompanied here by a rare and splendid collection of early aviation photography. Together, these form a fitting memorial to a man whose life was dedicated to the preservation of our nation's heritage of flight.
Arranged and described by Kate Igoe, 1997. Encoded by Amanda Buel, 2014.
Jones, Ernest La Rue, 1883-1955
Ernest Jones, gift, 1957, NASM.XXXX.0096.
17.38 Cubic feet (41 letter document boxes; 1 slim legal document box; 2 flatboxes; 2 microfilm cases)
The Ernest Jones Aeronautical Collection (NASM.XXXX.0096) contains approximately 17 cubic feet of material comprised of the works of this early aviation historian and materials relating to his career and personal life. The collection includes original correspondence, photographs, published material, and various other media.
No restrictions on access.
Some preliminary processing work had been done on this collection by 1997, but much of the material remained without obvious order. Original order, where identified, has been maintained. Series in the collection are as follows: Series I: Career of -- Ernest Jones -- and Personal Information Series II: Organizations Series III: Notebooks and Files for Chronology Subseries 1: Notebooks Subseries 2: Miscellaneous, Notes and Queries for Chronology Subseries 3: Individual and Subject Files Subseries 4: Bibliographies Series IV: Photographs Subseries 1: Set I Subseries 2: Set II Subseries 3: Miscellaneous Photography Files Series V: Scrapbooks Series VI: Oversized Materials
The Ernest Jones Aeronautical Collection (NASM.XXXX.0096) contains approximately 17 cubic feet of material comprised of the works of this early aviation historian and materials relating to his career and personal life. The collection includes original correspondence, photographs, published material, and various other media. The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) received the bulk of these materials between 1955 and 1960. It should be noted however, that some materials have arrived in the collection with an uncertain provenance, having been found with the collection but possessing an aspect that throws doubt on their origin (such as clippings dated after the death of Jones). Other parts of the collection are believed to have originated with Jones but have arrived in NASM's collections from other sources. A small portion of the photographic materials have been moved into this collection from NASM's videodisc files, where they had been placed after being reproduced. Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).
Jones, Ernest La Rue, 1883-1955
Aeronautics -- Periodicals
Ernest Jones Aeronautical Collection, NASM.XXXX.0096, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives