International Aero Vehicle Company Records (SC-389)
Scope and Contents
The International Aero Vehicle Company Records consist of the records of an incorporation formed for the purpose of acquiring patents for the Charles Oliver Jones "orthopter" (ornithopter). The collection consists of 1 volume, containing approximately 142 pages of mostly handwritten records. The records include the Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-Laws, meeting minutes, and assorted financial and administrative reports. The majority of the volume is minutes from the Board of Directors' meetings held in Dayton, Ohio, which summarize the activities and current concerns of the company. Occasionally other related documents are tucked inside or affixed to the pages, such as correspondence, drawings, and reports. Of particular note is a copy of a letter from Glenn Curtiss discussing the proposed merger of the International Aero Vehicle Company with his company.
- Creation: 1906 - 1910
- International Aero Vehicle Company (Dayton, Ohio) (Organization)
Conditions Governing Access
There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.
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 Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright.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 International Aero Vehicle Company (I.A.V.C.) was incorporated with the objective of obtaining the patent rights for a flying machine known as the "Jones Orthopter," which belonged to Charles Oliver Jones (an Ohio inventor) and Richard Charles Isphording. These two, along with Walter Grover Critchlow, formally incorporated the company in October 1906 at Phoenix, Arizona, where Jones' proving grounds were then located. However, the main company headquarters were in Dayton, Ohio, and all of its Board of Directors' meetings were held in Dayton.
The first officers of the company were as follows: Walter G. Critchlow, president; J. P. Morgan (of Dayton), vice president; George A. Snyder, secretary; Richard C. Isphording, general manager; Charles Oliver Jones, superintendent of inventions; and Frank H. Krehbeil, attorney. The Board of Directors consisted of the same six men, with the addition of a seventh, Charles B. Critchlow. The company's patent attorney was Richard J. McCarty. A stockholder, Edward R. Mueller, later became secretary of the company and was the holder of that position at the time that the company dissolved, which is likely how he retained possession of this volume.
In October 1907, Walter Critchlow orchestrated a merger of the company with Baldwin Dirigible Airship Company (New York City) and the Curtiss Manufacturing Copmany (Hammondsport, NY), to form a new firm known as The Curtiss Motor Vehicle Company of Hammondsport, N.Y. According to a news article (Dayton Herald, 1907 Nov 21, p. 2): "The copmany will manufacture and market the Curtiss gasoline engine, the Curtiss world's record motorcycle, and the Thos. S. Baldwin dirigible airship. In addition to this, an exhibition department will be maintained to supply fairs, expositions, conventions, public gatherings, etc., with dirigible airship and mechanical flying machine exhibitions by the Baldwin airship and the Jones Orthopter and Aeroplane flying machine."
However, Board of Directors minutes from December 20, 1907, the merger and the company were not doing well, indicating that Captain Thomas H. Baldwin was "out of merger," and also passing a resolution to cease paying Charles Oliver Jones his $40 per week salary until further notice due to the company's growing debts and as well as the poor winter flying weather.
In January 1908, company president Walter G. Critchlow was arrested on charges of misuse of the U.S. mail. The charge related to activities in another of his business venture, the Twentieth Century Company, another Dayton company of which he was president, though while being technically separate from I.A.V.C., it seems to have involved a lot of the same people. Critchlow was convicted of "using the mails to advertise an improper medicine" (see Cincinnati Enquirer, 1908 Apr 18 for greater details) and sentenced to 13 months in the penitentiary. He resigned as president of the International Aero Vehicle Company in June 1908.
On September 2, 1908, Charles Oliver Jones died in a dirigible accident during an exhibition at Waterville, Maine. Jones was killed during a demonstration of his dirigible balloon "Boomerang." He had also invented another dirigible known as the "June Bug," which won a trophy from Scientific American for a heavier-than-air craft. The I.A.V.C. minutes for September 7, 1908, note "the tragical death of its fellow member and inventor of the machine on which the Company was working."
The I.A.V.C. Board of Directors continued to meet monthly for over a year after these events; however, there were few new developments, given that the scientific genius of their group had died, and the primary promoter of the project had resigned following criminal conviction.
A notable correspondence dated July 9, 1909, is addressed to Walter G. Critchlow from Glenn H. Curtiss discusses the current state of the merger and the money still owed to Curtiss. Curtiss states plainly: "Any plans you may have for raising funds to square up these accounts would of course be interesting to us, although I will be frank to say that I had no expectation of ever receiving anything on the account. I would not care to be identified with the company or to have my name used in any way to raise money."
The last meeting minutes, dated September 5, 1910, note "a general discussion of the Copmany's welfare...but nothing important on which the Board could take action developed, the meeting adjourned. [signed] Edward R. Mueller, Sec'y Pro tem."
0.25 linear feet (1 bound volume)
Language of Materials
The International Aero Vehicle Company was incorporated in 1906 for the purpose of acquiring patents for the Charles Oliver Jones "orthopter" (ornithopter). The collection consists of 1 volume, including Articles of Incorporation, Constitution and By-Laws, meeting minutes, and assorted financial and administrative reports.
The collection is arranged chronologically in a single bound volume.
The donor, Doug Campbell, found the volume at the home of his mother, Marian Haberer Campbell (1921-2022), following her death. Campbell thought the item had probably belonged to his grandfather, Edward J. Haberer; however, he had no further information about how or why the volume came into their family's possession. Edward J. Haberer (1888-1971) was a delivery man for a local drugstore, and he also owned a farm and raised hereford cattle.
Further research in the archives has revealed the likely connection: Edward R. Mueller (1871-1945), a Dayton lawyer and the last secretary of the International Aero Vehicle Company, was a cousin of Edward J. Haberer. Edward R. Mueller's mother (Mary Haberer Mueller) and Edward J. Haberer's father (John Haberer) were siblings, children of Andrew and Catherine Haberer. Edward R. Mueller was unmarried and had no children, so it follows that some of his possessions may have ended up in the hands of other relatives. And as the acting secretary at the time the company dissolved, it makes sense that the meeting minutes volume stayed in his possession.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The International Aero Vehicle Company Records were donated to Wright State University Libraries' Special Collections and Archives by Douglas L. Campbell in December 2022.
- Guide to the International Aero Vehicle Company Records (SC-389)
- Lisa Rickey
- 2023 March 14
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Part of the Special Collections Repository
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA