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

Octave Chanute, born in Paris in 1832, was one of America's leading civil engineers, specializing in railroads and railroad bridges with the first bridge across the Missouri River to his credit. After developing a reputation as a scientist, writer and speaker, Chanute's interests turned to the possibility of flight. Beginning in 1891 he wrote a series of articles on his research and published them in book form, making him the first aviation historian. In 1896 he designed and constructed four gliders aided by William Avery and Augustus Herring, testing them on the Indiana shores of Lake Michigan. The Chanute team made more than 1,000 manned flights without accident, and with a few modifications his 2-surfaced glider was to become the prototype of all modern biplanes. As he grew older, Chanute turned to writing, speaking and corresponding with inventors to encourage them to continue where he had left off. He died at the age of 78 in 1910, one of the foremost pioneers in aviation.

Identifier

NASM.XXXX.0489

Creator

Chanute, Octave, 1832-1910

Date

1886-1926

Provenance

H.N. Staats (originally collected by William Avery), gift, unknown, XXXX-0489, unknown

Extent

0.45 Cubic feet ((1 legal document box))

Restrictions

No restrictions on access

Type

Collection descriptions

Archival materials

Lantern slides

Glass negatives

Correspondence

Photographs

Publications

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of newspaper clippings dating from 1886-1926; correspondence from Sept. 1904-September 1922; glass negatives and lantern slides; publications dating from 1886-1910; and a variety of photographs. Images represented include the Chanute biplane hang glider used in St. Louis in 1904, miscellaneous gliders, Chanute's gliding experiments at the Indiana dunes in 1896, and miscellaneous photos of Chanute and his colleagues.

Genre/Form

Lantern slides

Glass negatives

Correspondence

Photographs

Publications

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

Avery, William

Chanute, Octave, 1832-1910

Topics Gliding and soaring
Aeronautics
Periodicals

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid