Mohawk Airlines Negatives [Smith] 1948-1965


Collection Item Summary:

This collection consists of approximately 250 images taken by C. Hadley Smith pertaining to Mohawk Airlines, and a few from their predecessor Robinson Aviation. The images are in negative format, and are mostly 4 by 5 inches, with some smaller formats occasionally mixed in. All images except one are black and white. The negatives are in individually numbered envelopes with a number scheme applied by Smith which is comprised of the date (year-month-day) and a shot number from that day. Some of the envelopes contain duplicate negatives or contact prints, and some contain two separate images. The images show Mohawk Airlines personnel; facilities; aircraft; passengers; and company events. Aircraft shown in the images include the Douglas DC-3, Convair 240 Convair-Liner, and Beech Bonanza 35. Two passengers of note that appear in the images are actress Shelley Winters and President Harry S. Truman.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Douglas DC-3 Family
  • Convair 240 Convair-Liner
  • Beech Bonanza 35

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions on access


Smith, C. Hadley 1910-2004


Mohawk Airlines

Physical description

0.21 cubic feet (1 box)


  • 1948
  • 1948-1968
  • 1948-1965


Ithaca (N.Y.)


Mohawk Airlines was founded in 1945 as Robinson Aviation and was based out of Ithaca Municipal Airport in New York. In 1948, the airline was certified as a local service carrier by the Civil Aeronautics Board and they were awarded numerous routes in the Mohawk Valley. At this time, the airline adopted the slogan "Route of the Air Chiefs" and began using a logo of a Native American on their aircraft. In 1952, the name was changed to Mohawk Airlines. By 1956, the airline had moved its corporate offices to Utica and the airline's operations base moved to Oneida County Airport in Whitestown, New York in 1958. Also in 1958, Mohawk employed the country's first African American flight attendant, Ruth Carol Taylor. Mohawk was responsible for a number of other firsts including being the first airline to used a centralized computer-based reservation service (1961), the first regional airline to used flight simulators (1965), and the first regional airline to fly jets (1965). Mohawk was purchased by Allegheny Airlines in 1972 which later became US Airways. US Airways merged with America West Airlines in 2005 and purchased American Airlines in 2015 and now operates under the American Airlines name and logo. C. Hadley Smith (1910-2004) began taking photographs at age five and received formal training in photography at the Patuxent River Naval Air Base where he served as a Photographer's Mate First Class during World War II. After the war, he began his career as a commercial photographer in Ithaca, New York. One of his clients was Robinson Aviation, later Mohawk Airlines.

Cite as

Mohawk Airlines Negatives [Smith], Acc. 2017-0047, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

Repository Loc.

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


  • Negatives
  • Collection descriptions

Local number