In early 1927 Charles A. Lindbergh entered the competition for the $25,000 prize offered by Raymond Orteig for the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris.
In February Lindbergh placed an order with Ryan Airlines in San Diego for an aircraft with specifications necessary to make the flight. Lindbergh flew the aircraft from San Diego to New York on May 10—12, making only one stop, at St. Louis.
Lindbergh took off from NY for Paris on the morning of May 20, 1927. Thirty-three hours, 30 minutes, and 3,610 miles later he landed safely at Le Bourget Field, near Paris.
From July 20 until October 23 of that year he took the famous plane on a 48 state tour of the United States.
Then, on December 13, he and the Spirit of St. Louis flew nonstop from Washington to Mexico City; through Central America, Colombia, Venezuela, Puerto Rico; and nonstop from Havana to St. Louis.
This object is in a grouping of items that Charles A. Lindbergh took with him on his 1927-1928 "Good Will" tour of Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean Isles, as well as his non-stop return flight to the St. Louis from Havana, Cuba.
On April 30, 1928, the Spirit of St. Louis made its final flight—from St. Louis to Washington, D.C where Lindbergh presented the aircraft to the Smithsonian Institution.