The Personal Collection of Charles Harding Babb SDASM.007

Finding aid prepared by Katrina Pescador
San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
San Diego, CA, 92101
(619) 234-8291

Title: The Personal Collection of Charles Harding Babb
Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.007
Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.8 Linear feet 2 manuscript boxes
Date (inclusive): 1920-2001
Abstract: This collection contains correspondence, prototypes, blueprints and other documents from Charles Harding Babb, founder of The Babb Company.
Language of Materials note: English
creator: Babb, Charles Harding, 1899-1952

Biographical/Historical note

Charles Harding Babb was born in Eugene, Oregon in 1899 and went on to study at the University of Oregon. Though injured as a youth in a hunting accident that took his right forearm, in 1919 Babb learned to fly in Venice, California, receiving FAI pilot certificate number 5074 and expert aviator certificate 302. However, it would not be as a pilot that Babb would leave his mark in aviation. In the 1920s, Charlie certified pilots (he issued Amelia Earhart her first license), and while N.A.A. Governor from 1920 to 1928, he was actively involved in organizing air races. From 1928 until 1952, Charles Babb operated The Babb Company, selling new and used aircraft, as well as aircraft parts. His company had a reputation for knowledge, quality, and service; the Babb Company became known as the world's largest international aircraft brokerage. It was in this capacity that Babb met and befriended some of the most influential aviation greats of the period. His peers included Donald Douglas, Jimmy Doolittle, Reuben Fleet, Wiley Post, Jackie Cochran, and Howard Hughes. In addition to running the Babb Co, Mr. Babb also was a founding member and, in 1951, voted president of the Conquistadores del Cielo, an exclusive aviation association. In 1940, Babb was granted the seminal patent on an aircraft cargo fuselage design which allowed for easy front loading nose access. The Babb Co. was selected in 1951 as the exclusive North American distributor for De Havilland's "Beaver" aircraft. Babb passed away unexpectedly in 1952.

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open to the public by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use note

For copyright and use restrictions please consult the library director.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The collection was donated to the SDASM in two installments by Mr. Charles H. Babb’s eldest son, Charles Babb, Jr. The donation items listed below are a restricted gift to the Museum. In that if the Museum in the future decides to deaccession the collection the donor and/or his heirs will be contacted to assist in locating another repository to house the collection for future preservation and public access. Co-donor and heir to the collection is brother, Steven Craig Babb. Donated 8/2/2001: Prototype model of America’s first nose-loading cargo aircraft, year 2000 appraisal of said prototype and accompanying patent search, scrap book, and drawings, illustrations, and blueprints. Donated 11/2006: autographed books and collection of photos and printed materials. Deed of Gift signed April 4, 2008.

Preferred Citation note

[Item], The Personal Collection of Charles Harding Babb, Archives, San Diego AIr & Space Museum

Scope and Contents note

The collection includes correspondences, the original prototype model of the front-nose loading aircraft, blueprints/illustrations of the front-nose loading aircraft, one of kind photos, many of which are signed by some of Babb's famous friends, and collection appraisal report.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Conquistadores del Cielo.
De Havilland Aircraft Co., ltd..
The Babb Company.