Scope and Content
Title: 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection
Collection Number: Consult repository.
1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet at Dominguez Flying Field Committee
4 linear feet
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Archives and Special Collections
Archives & Special Collection
University Library, Room G-145
1000 E. Victoria Street
Carson, California 90747
Phone: (310) 243-3013
Abstract: This collection includes newsclippings, photos, books, journal articles, ephemera, correspondence, and minutes related to
the aviation meet held on Dominguez Hill in 1910. Subjects include early aviation history and early aviators, the Aviation
Meet of Los Angeles (1910-1911), anniversaries, a commemorative airshow, and the Aviation Meet Committee.
Language: Collection material is in English
There are no access restrictions on this collection.
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives
and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical
materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
[Title of item], 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection, Courtesy of the Department of Archives
and Special Collections. University Library. California State University, Dominguez Hills
The records in this collection were collected over a twenty year period by CSUDH archivists and members of the Dominguez Air
Meet Committee. This committee was formed in 1996 with the purpose of creating the most comprehensive repository of materials
about and relating to the 1910 meet. In 2006, the committee was renamed the 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet at
Dominguez Flying Field Committee and members renewed their work for the upcoming Aviation Meet centennial.
The collection was processed in the Fall of 1996 and was opened to research without restrictions. In 2006, the collection
was reevaluated, additions were made, and it was reopened. It is currently a growing collection, with contributions from members
of the community and the Aviation Meet Committee. The collection is considered a growing collection, with materials from committee
members and the community added regularly.
This finding aid was created as part of the Early Los Angeles/Rancho San Pedro Manuscript Cataloging Project, a CSU Dominguez
Hills Library project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project started in 2005.
Project Director was Greg Williams. Project Archivists were Thomas Philo and Jennifer Allan Goldman.
Following the Reims International Aviation Meet in 1909, enthusiasm for aviation began to increase in the United States. In
between meets in the South, Charles Willard and Roy Knabenshue discussed holding a meet in the winter, with Los Angeles being
a good choice for weather reasons. After receiving a promise of participation from Glenn Curtiss in New York, Knabenshue contacted
Dick Ferris, a Los Angeles athletic promoter and balloon enthusiast. Ferris gained the support of the local business community,
formed an organizing committee, and Curtiss and Willard out to Los Angeles to find a suitable location for the meet.
The first location considered was a field in Santa Anita, but physical obstructions such as tall trees led the aviators to
search for another site. About a month before the January start date, Dominguez Field was agreed upon. This field was located
on the top of a small hill in land once a part of the Ranch San Pedro, an early Spanish land grant. The dates were set as
January 10 to 20, with eleven full days of events planned. Once the site was settled, promotion of the meet began and grandstands
were erected. Also, an expanded passenger platform was constructed at the Pacific Electric Station located closest to the
Aviation Meet site to accommodate the large number of spectators expected to attend the event. Organizers invited a variety
of participants to pilot airplanes, balloons, and dirigibles, including Louis Paulhan, a French aviator known for his flying
at the Reims Meet. Because the meet was being billed as "international," Paulhan’s participation was crucial and he was guaranteed
a small sum of money as encouragement to attend. Cash prizes were allotted for scheduled events, including altitude, speed,
and endurance competitions.
Aviation Meet spectators were thrilled by the performances of aviators Louis Paulhan, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Willard, and
others. Paulhan brought to the event two Bleriot Monoplanes, two Farman Biplanes, and an entourage which included his wife,
two student pilots/mechanics, the Baron and Madame de Pennendreff, and his black poodle. At the aviation meet he set a new
altitude record (4164 ft.), endurance record (64 miles in 1 hr. 49 minutes 40 seconds), and won $14,000 in prize money. Glenn
Curtiss won two events-fastest speed with a passenger (55 mph) and quickest start (6 2/5 seconds covering 98 ft.). Curtiss
took home $6500 in prize money. Charles Willard was credited with the most accurate take off and landing skills, for which
he receive a prize totaling $250. Attendance at the meet surpassed all expectations. An estimated 226,000 spectators purchased
tickets for the show, with up to 250,000 in attendance overall, and gate receipts for the event equaled over $137,500. The
event was considered a phenomenal success and helped to alleviate a perceived economic drought in the Los Angeles area. Annual
aviation meets were held on Dominguez Field in 1911 and 1912.
Scope and Content
The 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection includes journal articles, news clippings, and photographs
of and about the event. Some of the journal articles were written at the time of the Aviation Meet while others were authored
at a later date and help to shed light upon the importance of the event both on aeronautical history and for the region. The
news clippings cover the period shortly before the event as well as the ten day period of the event. Many of the photographs
are one of a kind and detail many of the well known aviators of the period as well as heavier-than-air and lighter-than-air
ships which took part in the meet. The collection has been organized into ten series.
Arranged in ten series:
- Series I. Committee Papers (1972, 1996-1997)
- Series II. Official Programs (1910-1911)
- Series III. Newsclippings (1909-1996)
- Series IV. Books and Journal Articles (1910-1995)
- Series V. Maps (no date)
- Series VI. Anniversaries and Marker Dedications (1941-1996)
- Series VII. Photos (1909-circa 1915)
- Series VIII. Commemorative Airshow (1968-1969)
- Series IX. Aviation Ephemera (1910-circa 1950)
- Series X. Reference Materials (circa 1910-1999)
1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet at Dominguez Field
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930
Knabenshue, Roy, d. 1960
Beachey, Lincoln, d. 1915
Dominguez Hills (Calif.)
Rancho San Pedro Reference Collection
Books found in the CSUDH catalog include call numbers.
Boyne, Walter J.
The Smithsonian Book of Flight. New York: Orion Books, 1987. [TL 515 B665 1987]
Bynum, Lindley and Idwal Jones.
Biscailuz, sheriff of the new West. New York: Morrow, 1950.
Doolittle, James Harold, with Carroll V. Grimes.
I Could Never Be So Lucky Again: an Autobiography. New York: Bantam Books, 1991.
Gibbs-Smith, Charles Harvard.
Aviation: An Historical Survey from its Origins to the end of World War II. London,: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1970. [TL 515 G48 1970]
The First to Fly: Aviations Pioneer Days. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1970. [TL 515 H36]
The First Aviators. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1980. [TL 515 P68]
Schoneberger, William A.
California Wings: A History of Aviation in the Golden State. Woodland Hills, CA,: Windsor Publications, 1984. [Spec Coll TL 522 C2 S36]
Villard, Henry Serrano.
Contact! The Story of the Early Birds. New York: Thomas V. Crowell, Co., 1968. [Spec Coll TL 670 V5]