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Descriptive Finding Guide for the Charles Harding Babb Personal Papers SDASM.SC.10009
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: Charles Harding Babb Personal Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10009
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.8 Cubic 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.

    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.

    Preferred Citation note

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

    Related Archival Materials note

    Pima Air Museum Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA Smithsonian, National Air & Space Museum, Washington D.C.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

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