Display Status:

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

Collection Item Summary:

This collection consists of a variety of correspondence and published articles, some authored by Smith himself. One part of the correspondence is a set of letters between Arthur Lapham and Ernest Jones, on the verification of the history of the early parachute jumpers. There is also a set of letters between Floyd and Hilder Smith and Jones, and later with Lapham as well. The papers also include information on other contemporary jumpers besides Smith and his wife.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Parachuting
  • Aeronautics--Exhibitions
  • Aeronautical sports

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions on access


Smith, Floyd

Physical description

.05 cubic feet (1 folder)




Floyd Kenton Smith was born in Chicago, IL in 1894 and was raised there. He and his wife, Hilder, were both trapeze artists in a circus until 1912, when Smith built his own airplane and began doing exhibition flights. When he gave up his plane to pay off debts, both he and and his wife turned to parachute jumping. Shortly thereafter, Smith got involved in the manufacture of parachutes, having designed and experimented with different models of chutes while he was a jumper. Eventually he created his own Floyd Smith Aerial Equipment Co., on behalf of which he engaged in several lawsuits against patent infringement on his designs. He was also engaged by the military during World War I to design a safer unattached parachute for new aircraft

Cite as

Floyd Smith Collection, XXXX-0684, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560


  • Correspondence
  • Collection descriptions
  • Articles

Local number