Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

John Guy Gilpatric (1896-1950) was one of America's earliest aviators. Although not officially an Early Bird, he first learned to fly in 1912 at the age of sixteen. That same year he gained notoriety by setting a new American record when he reached an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet with a passenger on board. During his teenage years, Gilpatric gave flying lessons and flew in air exhibitions, eventually becoming employed as a test-pilot. He later worked as an aviation instructor in Toronto, Canada, teaching the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Following the United States' entry into World War I in 1917, Gilpatric enlisted in the Army Air Service as a First Lieutenant, where he was stationed overseas as Engineering Officer, First Aero Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). Upon returning to the United States in 1919, he left the world of aviation behind and worked in advertising. Gilpatric is probably best known, however, for his subsequent career as a writer, during which time he wrote the Saturday Evening Post series, "Colin Glencannon," among numerous other books and articles.

Identifier

NASM.XXXX.0220

Processing Information

Arranged, described, and encoded by Elizabeth C. Borja, 2019.

Creator

Gilpatric, John Guy, 1896-1950

Date

1910-1950

bulk 1910-1918

Provenance

Unknown, gift, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0220

Extent

2.17 Cubic feet (10 folders, 3 flatboxes)

Summary

John Guy Gilpatric (1896-1950) was one of America's earliest aviators. Although not officially an Early Bird, he first learned to fly in 1912 at the age of sixteen. That same year he gained notoriety by setting a new American record when he reached an altitude of nearly 5,000 feet with a passenger on board. During his teenage years, Gilpatric gave flying lessons and flew in air exhibitions, eventually becoming employed as a test-pilot. He later worked as an aviation instructor in Toronto, Canada, teaching the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Following the United States' entry into World War I in 1917, Gilpatric enlisted in the Army Air Service as a First Lieutenant, where he was stationed overseas as Engineering Officer, First Aero Squadron, American Expeditionary Forces (AEF). The collection contains four scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, licenses and identity cards, newspaper clippings, newsletters, and periodicals, which chronicle his aviation career and military service.

Restrictions

No restrictions on access

Type

Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Correspondence

Scrapbooks

Photographs

Arrangement note

Materials were arranged by physical location.

Scope and Contents

The collection contains four scrapbooks, photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, newsletters, and periodicals. The collection also includes Gilpatric's Aero Club of American issued pilot license and his American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) identity and pilot identity card. Correspondence includes three letters from Glenn H. Curtiss and Jimmy Doolittle. The scrapbooks contain photographs, clippings and ephemera, including the follow subjects: Gilpatric's early aviation career as both an aviator and an instructor with the Moisant Flying School, Sloane Aviation School, the Royal Canadian air cadets; early aircraft such as the Sloane Flying Boat, the Nieuport 27, Curtiss JN-2, as well as Wright, Bleriot, Farman, and Deperdussin aircraft; and early aviators Charles Niles; DeLloyd Thompson; Art Smith; Bert Acosta; Claude Grahame-White; George W. Beatty; William Knox Martin; George M. Dyott; John E. Sloane; and Robert Y. Hoshino, a Japanese aviator. One scrapbook focuses on Gilpatric's service in the AEF in World War I with photographs of zeppelins, soldiers and aviators, aerial reconnaissance photography, destroyed villages, and graves. Photographs found in the videodisc prints are most likely copied from the scrapbooks or smaller images that had been removed from albums. Note: Where indicated, 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.

Genre/Form

Correspondence

Scrapbooks

Photographs

Rights

Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Names

United States. Army. Air Service. 1st Aero Squadron

Gilpatric, John Guy, 1896-1950

Topics Photographic reconnaissance systems
Aerial reconnaissance
Aeronautics
Aeronautics, Military
Air pilots
Periodicals
World War, 1914-1918
Aeronautics -- Competitions
Aeronautics--Canada

Citation

John Guy Gilpatric Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0220, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid