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Fulton Flight Scrapbook

Identifier: MS-158

Scope and Contents

The scrapbook documents the planning, events, and publicity of the Fulton Flight Contest sponsored by the World of New York and the Aero Club of America as part of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of September 25-October 9, 1909. The World offered a $10,000 prize to the first person making the flight between New York City and Albany, New York in a mechanically propelled airship. The material dates 1908-1910, with the bulk dated 1909. All the materials are glued onto scrapbook pages that have been unbound.

The first box contains four folders of material describing the announcement of the contest and the dirigible balloon attempts by Capt. Thomas Scott Baldwin and George B. Tomlinson, as well as that of John Roeder’s aeroplane dirigible; promotional material; the entry form and other ephemera related to the celebration; newspaper clippings of advertisements and entries. Of note are original photographs and responses to invitations to the event from notables such as the Duke of Edinburgh.

The second box comprises four folders, the contents of which describe: preparation of aviators (mostly regarding Glenn Hammond Curtiss); the Fulton Flight itself (Curtiss won the $10,000 by flying the 137 miles in two hours at an average speed of 54.07 mph at 1000 feet.); other proposed flights (e.g. St. Louis, Philadelphia); and miscellaneous.

The third box consists of one large folder. It contains clipping and telegraph messages detailing the lead up to the contest.


  • Creation: 1908-1910

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing the scrapbook; however, due to the very fragile and extremely brittle state of the pages, researchers are encouraged to use the microfilm of the scrapbook, when possible.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

The Fulton Flight Contest was part of the Hudson Fulton Celebration in 1909 celebrating the 300th anniversary of the discovery of the Hudson River and the anniversary of Robert Fulton's first successful application of steam to navigate the Hudson River. The Fulton Flight Contest was sponsored by the World of New York and the Aero Club of America. The World offered a $10,000 prize to the first person making the flight between New York City and Albany, New York in a mechanically propelled airship. Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss flew during the event. Wilbur Wright made a 20-mile flight up the Hudson River from Governors Island to Grant’s Tomb and back in 33 minutes. It was the first long flight over U.S. waters.


1.6 linear feet

Language of Materials



This collection consists of an individual's scrapbook containing clippings and other memorabilia pertaining to the Fulton Flight Contest sponsored by the Aero Club of America in New York in 1909. Included are announcements of the contest, promotional material and entry form, news clippings describing the contest, commemorative postcards and information on preparation by the aviators. The scrapbook is unbound and the pages housed in three boxes.


The collection is arranged in three portfolio boxes. The pages in the scrapbook have been unbound and separated. The scrapbook cover is located in box one.

Box 1:
Announcements and Early Attempts, 1908-1910
Box 2:
Fulton Flight and the Preparation of Glen H. Curtiss, 1908-1910
Box 3:
Additional Announcements and Preparation of Aviators, 1908-1910

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The scrapbook is extremely brittle. Limit handling. Take extreme care when handling the pages, as clippings and pages are flaking.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Provenance is unknown.

Existence and Location of Copies

The scrapbook is on microfilm in the reading room.

Related Materials

Santacroce, Joe. The Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909: a video production, 2000.DVD is available in the reading room (HE 554.A5.H83)

Sanford, John, "The First Aerial Canoe: Wilbur Wright and the Hudson-Fulton Flights" (2001).Following in the Footsteps of the Wright Brothers: Their Sites and Stories. 4


12” x 17.5” scrapbook

Processing Information

The processor disassembled the scrapbook pages and arranged them by topic. As a result, the printed sequential numbers on the pages are not in numerical order.

Guide to the Fulton Flight Scrapbook (MS-158)
Marjorie Brown
1986 May
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2019 March: Finding aid revised according to DACS standards by Alyssa Stark and Toni Vanden Bos.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA