The Descriptive Finding Guide for the Alexander Perkins Keith Personal Papers SDASM.SC.SC.10084

Jenna L. Shaeffer
San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
San Diego 92101

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
Title: Alexander Perkins Keith Personal Papers
creator: Keith, Alexander Perkins
Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.SC.10084
Physical Description: 0.4 Cubic Feet 1 manuscript box
Date (inclusive): 1870-1936
Abstract: This collection contains papers relating to A.P. Keith. The papers include documents about a patent Keith received in 1870 for a flying machine.
Language of Material: English

Biographical / Historical

Alexander P. Keith hailed from Eaton, Massachusetts, coming to California for the gold mines and then making his big strike in Nevada in 1859-60. He used his newfound fortune to continue his vision of his airplane invention. His invention deviated from the then accepted flapping wing devices that were of the time.
He later married Anna Hicks in Boston and moved to San Diego in the early 1880s where they had two daughters, Mabel M. and Elizabeth. Only after Keith’s death did his family learn of his invention and patent. It is said in the few articles on Keith’s invention, that the only things lacking was the aid of a perpetual moving machine, at which time had not yet been discovered.

Conditions Governing Access

Access is open to the public by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

For copyright information and conditions of use, please contact the library director.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection of materials was donated in March 2009.

Preferred Citation

[Item], Alexander Perkins Keith Special Collection, Archives, San Diego Air & Space Museum

Related Materials

Patents Subject Files
Selected digitized images from this collection.

Scope and Contents

This is a collection of the personal papers of A.P. Keith that documents a patent that was granted to AP Keith of Eaton, Massachusetts on 1870 for an aerial flying machine. It includes two types circa 1870.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Aeronautic -- California -- San Diego -- History
Aeronautics -- 1870-1880
Keith, Alexander Perkins


Box 01, Three folders

Physical Description: 1. Newspaper: The San Diego Union, ‘Flying Machine of Local Inventor’, 1936 2. Photocopy: The Story of Aviation: De Louvrie’s Flapping Wings 3. Newspaper clipping: Death of Aged Man Brings to Light Airplane Patent 4. Envelope from The Junipero Serra Museum/San Diego Historical Society, had contained two tintype pictures 5. Tintype pictures of Keith’s aerial cars 6. Photo: A.P. Keith with cane, reprint 7. Photo: A.P. Keith still photo, reprint 8. Newspaper clipping: The Story of Aviation: De Louvrie’s Flapping Wings 9. Photo: A.P. Keith with cake for his 88th birthday, reprint 10. Photocopy: Aviation Patent of 1870 Granted to S.D. Pioneer, 1936 11. U.S. Patent for the improvement of aerial cars, patent 100,415 dated 1870