World War I Italian Naval Aviation Album

The Servizio Aeronautico della Regia Marina [Royal Navy Aeronautical Service of the Kingdom of Italy], first created in 1913 as a section of the Italian Royal Navy, gained greater importance following the entry of Italy into World War I on May 24, 1915. Their air fleet consisted predominantly of hydroaeroplanes (seaplanes, flyingboats) and airships (dirigibles), the latter being particularly useful for spotting enemy submarines. Samuel Wesley Stratton (1861-1931), owner of the album, was the founder and first director of the National Bureau of Standards, a member of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), and the eighth president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).