The first discovery was a lot of glass plates sold during a garage sale, featuring aircraft, two of them were broken and the seller seemed to be happy to let them go...
Back at home, a quick search showed it was original Deperdussin photos. I wrote at the time a complete article on this find: 100 years old unpublished Deperdussin photos found at garage sale..
Another gem, was a Supermarine Southampton specification file. The vendor wanted to sell it fast as it did not contain photos or drawings... Something particular about this document, is it was hand signed by the chief Engineer and Designer, R.J. Mitchell, a man who will design a few years later the most legendary aircraft, the Spitfire.
Among other rare books and document, a exemplary of Progress in Flying Machines by Octave Chanute. This particular book was belonging to the Western Society of Engineers and has been inscribed by Octave Chanute himself.
Clement Ader has been recognized as the one who did the first uncontrolled flight of aviation in 1890, flying around 160ft with the Eole, a steam powered airplane. He published before the war "L'aviation militaire". It is notable for its vision of air warfare and its foreseeing the form of the modern aircraft carrier, with a flat flight deck, an island superstructure, deck elevators and a hangar bay. His idea for an aircraft carrier was relayed by the US Naval Attaché in Paris and were followed by the first trials in the United States in November 1910. The copy of "L'aviation militaire" in the Avialogs Collection is inscribed by the aviation pioneer himself:
Several blueprints are parts of the Avialogs Collection, among them General Arrangement drawings for the Dornier Wal but the more old is an original and complete set of blueprints for the Santos Dumont Demoiselle, printed by Popular Mechanics in 1910. In 1909, Santos Dumont, the aviation pioneer, wanted to share to the largest number of people his work and released it to the public domain.
The collection has several other books and documents, signed or inscribed, a dedicated section will open soon on Avialogs about them (signed by Beech, Igor Sikorsky, Emile Dewoitine..)
I manage Avialogs part time since 5 years in addition to my work, I try to preserve and keep aviation history alive, to share it to the largest number of people. It is possible only with your support. Without your help, preserving these documents would not have been possible. Please consider a donation to support the project.
Benoit de Mulder <benoit at avialogs.com>