Jay B. Benton was born on April 10, 1870 in Winchester, Massachusetts. He graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in Vermont in 1885, and five years later graduated from Dartmouth College. Later in 1890, Benton made his way to Boston where he found a job as a reporter for The Boston Evening Transcript. After four years with The Boston Evening Transcript, Benton accepted a position with The Boston Journal as assistant managing editor. Benton sought his pilot's license in 1909 as his interest in ballooning increased, and was the fourth member of the Aero Club of New England to receive his pilot's license. In 1912, Benton and William van Sleet flew the balloon Springfield from Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Pittston, Maine, a distance of 220 miles. During this excursion, the pair established a new record for the longest balloon flight in New England and received an award for maintaining equilibrium. Benton participated in many adventures and mishaps during the pioneer days of balloon flight, and he faithfully recorded his travels and the balloon travels of others through his position as a reporter. Benton was a member of the the Aero club of New England, the Society of Freemasons, the Press Club, the Newspaper Club, and the Papyrus Club.
Benton, Jay B.
Unknown, Gift?, Unknown
0.45 Cubic feet ((1 box))
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This collection consists of one 272 page scrapbook of newspaper articles, photographs of Jay B. Benton, photographs of his balloon, and photographs taken from the balloon. The articles are from various periodicals including Boston Evening Transcript, Boston Post, Boston Herald, Boston Daily Globe, The Republican, New York Times, The Rochester Herald, The Rutland Herald, and Springfield Union. The articles center on Benton's balloon flights, balloon flight in general, freemasonry, and other topics concerning Benton, his life, and his interests. This scrapbook bears the title "Up in a Balloon, Thrilling Experiences of Jay B. Benton," and was completed and rebound by Benton's nephew, Jay R. Benton, on September 12, 1929.
Balloons -- Exhibitions
Jay B. Benton Scrapbook, Accession number XXXX-0777, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives