From the hot air balloons of yesteryear to the commercial airline carriers of today, mankind has always been fascinated by the concept of flight. Public interest in aviation peaked during the twentieth century, leading to rapid development of its corresponding technology. From this period of fervent focus emerged the celebrated pioneers of aviation: Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Howard Hughes, Wiley Post, Jimmy Doolittle, Chuck Yeager, and many others who forever changed the way humans interact with the world. Their theories, feats, and record-breaking efforts are all captured in Evolution of Flight, 1784-1991.
Drawing from the treasure trove of images, diaries, correspondence, scrapbooks, government documents, and other primary source materials available within the National Air and Space Museum Archives, the National Air and Space Museum Library, the Smithsonian Archives, and Smithsonian Libraries, this newest collection in the Smithsonian Collections Online series offers unparalleled insight into the era of aviation and its lasting impact on today’s society with content that spans more than two centuries, from 1784 to 1991.
The Evolution of Flight sketches the lives and contributions of aviation’s pioneers, scientists, promoters, businessmen, barnstormers, racers, designers and manufacturers, and the aerial aces spanning World War I to Iraq and all the wars in between, revealing the personal—and often hidden—aspects of humankind’s conquest of the skies. Together, these materials provide a complete and compelling resource for students and scholars of a number of disciplines.
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“For academic institutions offering classes on World’s Fairs or programs related to the history of aviation, the material is ideal. The collection may also be suitable for select school libraries.”