Carruthers Aviation Collection

The Book Club of California's summer exhibition features the Carruthers Aviation Collection on the history of aviation, one of many rare and unique collections in the Libraries Special Collections. (Web announcement link)

1783 marks a milestone for human endeavor. In July of that year, the Mongolfier brothers designed and successfully launched a hot air balloon. Then on November 21st, Jean-Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Marquis Francois d'Arlandes took flight in a Montgolfier-designed balloon. This first manned balloon flight was watched by nearly all of Paris, including King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. What had once been fanciful imaginings was now real; the pursuit of human flight became a passion for many from then onward.

The Carruthers Aviation Collection was presented to Claremont McKenna College in 1950 by the Rev. and Mrs. John F. B. Carruthers. Carruthers collected materials about early experiments with flight, imaginary or real, from Leonardo to the Wright Brothers to wartime uses of aircraft. The Collection consists of more than 4,000 rare books, journals, maps, and prints, and original materials such as correspondence with aviators and engineers and photographs.

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