Descriptive Finding Guide for Errold Bahl Personal Papers SDASM.SC.10011

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

Title: Errold G. Bahl Personal Papers
Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10011
Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 0.36 Cubic feet One (1) box, 12.5” x 10” x 5”
Date (inclusive): 1894-1930
Abstract: Errold G. Bahl (EGB, October 26, 1894 – October 26, 1930) was one of the early birds of aviation, an aircraft pilot, mechanic, barnstormer, and entrepreneur. He attended the School of Military Aeronautics, flew in Latin America, was a mentor to Lindbergh, and formed the Harding, Zook and Bahl Airplane Corporation. This collection includes material relating to his life in aviation, as well as the Harding, Zook and Bahl Corporation.

Related Archival Materials note

More information on the Harding, Zook and Bahl Lark can be found in the aircraft subject files. The images from this Collection have been digitized and placed on Flickr.

Biographical/Historical note

Errold G. Bahl (EGB, October 26, 1894 – October 26, 1930) was one of the early birds of aviation, an aircraft pilot, mechanic, barnstormer, and entrepreneur. He attended the School of Military Aeronautics, flew in Latin America, was a mentor to Lindbergh, and formed the Harding, Zoo and Bahl Airplane Corporation. He attended the School of Military Aeronautics, Waco, Texas, in 1917 and was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant for the US Army in 1918. After World War I, he received an honorable discharge. In the first half of the 1920s, he spent time in Honduras as pilot during a turbulent political period in the nation’s history. He went on to form the Harding, Zoo and Bahl Airplane Corporation in Lincoln, Nebraska. There they developed an aircraft called “the Lark,” the price of which was “about the same as that of the average good automobile” of the era. Bahl was a highly respected pilot and ran Goodwill flights to Mexico. He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen and the Freemasons. He also served as an instructor and barnstorming partner and mentor to Charles Lindbergh in 1922, who spoke of him prominently in his autobiography, “We.” Bahl received his commercial license in 1928 and patented many designs for aircraft improvements, particularly regarding fuselage form, building processes, and elevator systems. He was married with two children when he died suddenly on his 36th birthday in an automobile accident.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The materials in this personal collection were donated to the San Diego Air & Space Museum in between August 1979 and October 1983. The collection has been fully processed.

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Scope and Contents note

Items in this collection include personal, military, club, and business correspondence, patents, postcards, travel mementos, and photographs ranging from 1917 to after the subject’s death in 1930.

Preferred Citation note

[Item], [Filing Unit], [Series Title], [Subgroups], [Record Group Title and Number], [Repository “San Diego Air & Space Museum Library & Archives”]

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bahl, Errold G., 1894-1930
Harding, Zook and Bahl Aircraft Manufacturing Company.
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974
Harding, Zook and Bahl Lark
Stunt flying
United States. Army. Air Corps. Advanced Flying School (Kelly Field, Tex.)
World War, 1914-1918


Box 01


Folder 01 - Harding, Zook, and Bahl Airplane Corporation

Physical Description: 1. Harding, Zook, & Bahl Engine Corporation advertisement. 2. Harding, Zook, and Bahl Airplane Corporation Prospectus. 3. Conservative estimates on the Cost of Factory Production, Selling Cost, Practicability & Demand for “The Lark.” 4. Articles of Incorporation. 5. Bill of Sale. 6. 17 documents relating to Capital Stock of Harding, Zook, & Bahl Airplane Corporation, photocopies of original documents.

Folder 02- Correspondence, Military

Physical Description: 1. Regulating the Flying of Civilian Aircraft By the President of the United States of America A Proclamation 1918. 2. Reserve Military Aviator Certificate, August 16, 1918. 3. Special Orders No. 215, August 17, 1918. 4. War Department notification of appointment as Second Lieutenant, August 17, 1918. 5. Acceptance of Commission, September 1918. 6. Special Orders No. 204 War Department, August 30, 1918. 7. Special Orders No. 230 Extract, September 3, 1918. 8. Special Orders No. 7 Extract, January 8, 1919. 9. General Orders No. 68 Command of Air Service Flying School Rich Field, Waco; Texas, September 13, 1918. 10. Letter State of Illinois letter of recommendation from Director of Art Institute of Chicago, January 28, 1919. 11. Honorable Discharge from the United States Army, May 14, 1919.

Folder 03 – Correspondence, General

Physical Description: 1. Gordon Roth to EGB, Updike Grain Company, October 31 1922. 2. Gordon Roth to EGB, Updike Grain Company, November 1, 1922. 3. C.W. Mayse, Tegucigalpa to EGB, September 29, 1923. 4. From cashier National Bank of Humboldt (NE), December 11, 1923. 5. J.C. Godspeed, Electrical Engineer and Contractor, estimate, March 10, 1924. 6. Ray Page Lincoln Standar A/C Co. commission, April 28, 1924. 7. American Consul in Honduras, George P. Wallen, March 25, 1924; with memo enclosed signed Stewart, March 27, 1924. 8. Walter Brothers Tegucigalpa and San Pedro Sula, January 4, 1924. 9. F.W. Dean Tegucigalpa, May 7, 1924. 10. J Willard Ridings, May 10, 1924. 11. R.H. Goodell, Tela Railroad Company, May 9, 1924. 12. Manager R.H. Goodell, Tela Railroad Company, September 9, 1924. 13. K.S. Enochs, Tela Railroad Company, Honduras, February 28, 1925. 14. October 1, 1926-1927, List of Places 15. Bud Gurney, Robertson Aircraft Corporation, August 8, 1927. 16. Richard Blythe, Quiet Birdmen, November 7, 1927. 17. John Law, Macfadden Publications, May 11, 1928. 18. John Law, Memo of Employment, Macfadden Publications, May 25, 1928. 19. Macfadden Publications, June 4, 1928. 20. Bernarr Macfadden, June 4, 1928. 21. Bernarr Macfadden to Mr. Sweeney, letter of introduction, June 18, 1928. 22. John Brennan, December 6, 1928. 23. J.C. Leslie, Pan American Airways, February 19, 1929. 24. John Brennan, Macfadden Publications, March 23, 1929. 25. Edwin Musick, Pan American Airways Memo, April 21, 1929. 26. E.J. Snyder, Cia. Mexicana de Aviacion, memo, August 15, 1929. 27. Harlan A. “Bud” Gurney, Robertson Aircraft Corporation, March 5, 1929. 28. D.G. Richardson to Jim Webster, Cia. Mexicana de Aviacion, November 12, 1929. 29. D.G. Richardson to A.K. Humphreys, Cia. Mexicana de Aviacion, November 12, 1929. 30. Hugh Rockwell (photocopy), February 10, 1930. 31. C.D. Young to Robert “Bob” Cochrane Mason and Dixon Air Lines, Inc., March 11, 1930. ENCLOSED WITH - Cochrane Boeing Air transport, March 14, 1930. 32. D.G. Richardson, Cia. Mexicana de Aviacion, May 28, 1930. 33. Letter to A.P. Greensfelder, Aerial Survey St. Louis-Osage Transmission lines, August 6, 1930. 34. Augustus Post, Aero Club of America. 35. Safe passage for Zue Beckley, piloted by Bahl, Mexican Secretaria de Gobernación. 36. Bud Gurney, February 17. 37. W.L Wardell to Enrique Santibanez, Consul General of Mexico, Texas. 38. W.L. Wardell to Vicente Villasana, Secretaria de Communicaciones, Mexico City. 39. EGB to Bruce, regarding Lark and Nickname (photocopy). 40. Gladys Bahl from Errol G. Bahl, San Juan, Puerto Rico, The Palace Hotel. 41. Gladys Bahl from Errol G. Bahl, Hotel Venus, Santiago de Cuba. 42. 7 pgs correspondence from Quiet Birdmen, (1 dated: December 14, 1927). 43. 1 envelope Office of Bernarr Macfadden to Errold G. Bahl.

Folder 04 – Correspondence, Sympathy & Post-Mortem

Physical Description: 1. Condolences from Williamson, November 9, 1930. 2. Minna T. Armstrong to Mrs. EB, The Shelton, NY City, October 30, 1930; and envelope. 3. Men’s Bible Class, Broadway Presbyterian Church, NY City, November 13, 1930. 4. Dean Zook, The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) of Chicago 5. Hugh and Lucille Rockwell, November 11, 1930; and envelope. 6. Louis H. Egan (signature illegible), October 27, 1930. 7. (3 pages) Letters of Sympathy Excerpts – typed 8. Rev. Walter D. Buchanan, October 30, 1930. 9. Bernarr Macfadden, November 14, 1930. 10. Flora and Leicester, November 14, 1930. 11. Bob Cochrane, November 14, 1930. 12. John Brennan, December 6, 1930. 13. Stanley Stokes, Union Electric Light and Power Company, reproduction

Folder 05 – Drawings and Art

Physical Description: 1. Ink frame BAHL “Build Aviation.” 2. 4 Figure drawings – “Method for placing an aircooled motor in the wing of an airplane,” March 19, 1930. 3. Line drawing of an aircraft – “Inventor” witnessed by attorney. 4. Misc mirrored drawing. 5. 3 pgs pencils sketches of a house.

Folder 06 – Patents

Physical Description: 1. Patent #1369374 Aeroplane-fittings, February 22, 1921. 2. Patent #1424066 Aeroplane fuselages and processes of building same, July 25, 1922 (1 additional copy). 3. Patent #1460091 Elevator Controls, June 26, 1923. (2 additional copies). 4. Patent #1492952 Fuselage Forms, May 6, 1924 (1 additional copy). 5. Patent #1850490 Airports, March 22, 1932, Gladys Bahl as executrix 6. Patent Office Copy of Claims, David Gourick, Fuselage reinforcements, May 9, 1922. 7. Patent Office Copy of Claims, David A. Gourick, Aeroplane control device, November 7, 1921.

Folder 07 - Printed Materials

Physical Description: 1. “When ‘Lucky Slim’ Went A-Barnstorming,” Literary Digest, August 13, 1927. 2. Photocopy, Bahl’s photo of an image possibly depicting a barnstorming Lindbergh. 3. Advertisement for rides with E.G. Bahl as “guests of Bernarr Macfadden.” 4. 3 newspaper column clippings (obituary). 5. “Union Electric Pilot Dies in Auto Crash.” 6. Thrilling Experience of Embryo Aviator” Bumbodlt Nebraska, August 9, 1918. 7. New York Evening Graphic “Graphic Good-Will flight to Mexico,” August 4, 1928. 8. Pittsburgh Star-Telegraph, September 9, 1928, p. 1

Folder 08 – Miscellaneous

Physical Description: 1. Columbia Dames of Columbia University – society booklet. 2. Humboldt High School 1914 Graduation Program, Humboldt High, Errold G. Bahl. 3. In Memoriam, memorial booklet for Errold Grover Bahl. 4. Menu Christmas 1917 – School of Military Aeronautics, US Army. 5. Certificate of passage, Pass, Cia. Mexicana de Aviacion 1929. 6. 1 p. miscellaneous writing and poetry. 7. Personal Report, Officers, October 1918. 8. 3 Vaccination Registers. 9. Information Relative to Compensation and Continuance of War Risk Insurance. 10. Lockheed Aircraft Co. Visitor’s Pass for EGB. 11. Treasury Department Customs form Lockheed Vought. 12. Metropolitan Opera House program, December 2, 1927. 13. Civilian Aircraft License, Curtiss aircraft, May 6, 1919. 14. Temporary passport for EGB, Raul Toledo Lopez, Comandante de Armas, Honduras, December 19, 1923. 15. Pilot’s Application Black, Boeing Air Transport, April 14, 1929. 16. Certificate of Graduation, United States Schools of Military Aeronautics, University of Texas, Austin. 17. Harding, Zook & Bahl Airplane Corporation, Capital Stock, 1 share Brooks Harding, November 1, 1921. 18. Resolutions of Respect – In Memory of Errold G. Bahl “Brother Mason” – Free Masons. 19. Safe Passage to Tegucigalpa Honduras, December 27, 1923. 20. Pan American Airways Milage Statement, May 1 –May 15. 21. Pan American Airways Baggage coupon. 22. 1 p. of equations. 23. Bill of Sale for 1 Lincoln Standard Tourabout Airplane, November 3, 1922. 24. Barnstorming exhibition contract, Errold G. Bahl, August 16, 1922. 25. Sheet with 4 cards – Metropolitan Museum of Art sketching ticket; Professional Pilots Association 1930; Aircraft Pilot’s License State of Connecticut department of aviation; Quiet Birdmen. 26. Sheet with 3 cards, National Realty Co. for Webster Groves; Club Deportivo Suizo tarjeta de identificación (visitor identification card) Mexico; National Air Pilots’ Association. 27. Aircraft Registration Department of Aviation, State of Connecticut; Department of the Interior Alaskan Engineering Commission Memorandum of Employment.

Folder 09 – Photograph & Image Documents

Physical Description: 1. Airplane shaped Air Service Flying School, Waco, Texas Anniversary pamphlet 1918. 2. Clipping of Tri-Motor passenger plane, Mexico City. 3. Post card, Book Marker, 1 photograph. 4. 2 postcards, 1 clipping, 1 photograph of headstone. 5. 4 photographs: Errold and Gladys Bahl, Motor, Harding Zook and Bahl Airplane Corp, Tri-motor plane flight for Pan Am Mexico City & Yucatan with EGB. 6. Class photo. 7. Group photo. 8. Rich Field Flyer Staff photos. 9. Federation Aeronautique Internationale Aero Club of America Certificate; group photo “The ‘Doc’ Bahl of Lindbergh’s ‘We’.” 10. Transport Pilot’s license, February 14, 1930; Aviator’s Certificate Direccion General de Aeronautica, Guatemala. 11. Mechanic’s Identification Card, May 1, 1930; Professional Pilots Association Certificate of Membership, Feb 19, 1920. 12. Servicio de Migracion (Immigration Service), identification card (visa) for travel in Mexico, EGB, June 9, 1929. 13. Servicio de Migracion, tourist identification card, Gladys M. Bahl October 24, 1929.