George Blair Harrison Collection

George Blair Harrison (1873-1930) was a pioneer aeronaut and businessman. Following graduation by Washburn College and University of Michigan, he entered the business world, working as a newspaperman (1898-1903, 1908-15), for the St.Louis World's Fair (1903-05), in printing and lithography (1905-07), and in the motion picture industry (1915-17). During this time he earned Federation Aeronautique International (FAI) Balloon certificate 32, becoming the first licensed balloon pilot west of St.Louis. In January 1910 he helped organize the first U.S. International air meet, at Dominquez Field, Los Angeles. He was also associated briefly with Wright Airplane Co (1910) and Glenn L. Martin Co. (1911). He joined the army as an aviation cadet when the US entered World War I, attending Ground School at Austin, TX (1917) and Balloon School, Ft. Omaha, NE (1917-18). After his discharge in 1919, he returned to commercial aviation, serving as airport inspector for Los Angeles County (1920, 1921), secretary and director of Universal Institute of Aeronautics, Inc., until his death.