1933 National Air Races collection: Finding Aid photCL 636

Nichole L. Manlove
The Huntington Library
November 2022
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Business Number: (626) 405-2191

Contributing Institution: The Huntington Library
Title: 1933 National Air Races collection
Identifier/Call Number: photCL 636
Physical Description: 0.2 Linear Feet (1 box)
Date (inclusive): approximately 1930 -1933
Date (bulk): 1933
Abstract: The 1933 National Air Races collection consists of photographs and sales/marketing materials from the July 1st - 4th event held at the Los Angeles Municipal Airport. Specifically included are 41 loose photographs, loose marketing materials, and one advertisers packet with additional sales materials from the 1933 event as well as photographs from previous air races.
Language of Material: Materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. 1933 National Air Races collection, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Michael Vinson Americana, November 2021.

Biographical / Historical

The National Air Races, also known as the Pulitzer Trophy Races, were a series of pylon and speed races dating back to 1920. The event entertained thousands of aeronautical enthusiasts and served as a testing ground for the aviation industry. The purpose of these races was to demonstrate one's aviation skills, as well as aircraft reliability and speed. The event included cross-country races, short races, army and navy maneuvers, stunt flying, landing contests, glider demonstrations, airship flights, and parachute jumping contests. Two of the most popular events were the Thompson and Bendix Trophy Races. From 1929 to 1939, the majority of the races were held in Cleveland, Ohio, however other cities such as Spokane, Chicago, and Los Angeles also served as hosts. The races ceased from 1940 to 1945 due to resources being needed to support the war effort (World War II). In 1946, the Aircraft Industrial Association brought the races to Los Angeles and Cleveland to showcase aeronautical advances made during the war. The deaths of race participants and some civilians as well as participation cuts from the Defense Department brought an end to an era, halting the races from 1952 to 1963. However, in 1964, the races picked up once again, this time as the Cleveland Air Show, an annual Labor Day event attracting thousands of visitors and participants from across the world.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes 41 loose photographs, sales/marketing materials, and one advertisers packet with additional sales/marketing materials from the 1933 event as well as images from previous races. The loose images, mostly taken by photographer "Dick" Whittington, include aerial views of the event, field, and seating areas; images of the Goodyear and Navy blimps; images of aeronautical stunts; photographs of patrons and participants including one of Lieutenant Commander Richardson receiving the Armstrong Siddeley Trophy after participating in the King's Cup Race; the Victor McLaglen Medical Corps Aerial Nurse Division; images of hot air balloons; a parade procession; awards ceremonies; and the Angels Flight railway in Downtown Los Angeles. The loose sales/marketing materials are comprised of National Air Races, and Union Oil Company of California ("76" gasoline) logos; one copy of the schedule of events and prizes; nine copies of a seating diagram with ticket information; five copies of advance ticket sales forms; and one copy of general instructions and memorandum for advance ticket salespeople. The advertisers packet includes one typed letter of introduction from the sponsoring committee, one typed letter from managing director Clifford Henderson regarding seating selections, one copy of the Schedule of Events and Prizes, one copy of a seating diagram with ticket information, and six photographs from previous air races including one of World War I Ace Eddie Rickenbacker.

Processing Information

Processed by Nichole L. Manlove in November 2022.


Arranged by format.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Aircraft industry -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Air pilots -- Photographs
Aeronautics -- History -- 20th century
Aircraft industry -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Airplane racing
Awards -- United States -- 20th century
Correspondence (letters).
Schedules (time plans).
United States -- Army -- Medical Corps
Angels Flight (Railway) -- Photographs
Henderson, Clifford William, 1895-1984
United States. Navy

Box 1, Folder 1

Loose photographs 1933

Box 1, Folder 2

Advertisers packet approximately 1930-1933, bulk 1933

Box 1, Folder 3

Loose sales/marketing materials 1933