Early Aviation in Long Beach, California (Images of Aviation Series)

Early Aviation in Long Beach, California (Images of Aviation Series)

by Gerrie Schipske
     
 

By 1920, when Amelia Earhart attended Earl S. Daugherty's air circus and then took her first airplane ride with Long Beach Poly High School graduate Frank Hawks, Long Beach was already a key part of the golden age of aviation. Balloonists had parachuted onto the city's beaches in 1905 near the Pine Avenue Pier, and stunt pilots such as Frank Stites took off and

Overview


By 1920, when Amelia Earhart attended Earl S. Daugherty's air circus and then took her first airplane ride with Long Beach Poly High School graduate Frank Hawks, Long Beach was already a key part of the golden age of aviation. Balloonists had parachuted onto the city's beaches in 1905 near the Pine Avenue Pier, and stunt pilots such as Frank Stites took off and landed on its sands in 1908. The Long Beach Chamber of Commerce sponsored the altitude contest won by Arch Hoxsey in the second Los Angeles Air Meet in 1910. Cal Rodgers ended the first transcontinental flight in the water near Linden Avenue on December 10, 1911. A former Army Air Corps flight instructor, Earl Daugherty was known as the "greatest stunt pilot" and owned the area's first non-beach airfield. This volume offers glimpses of early aviation at one of its core development locales, including photographs never before published of Earhart's flight instructor, John G. Montijo.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Title: Councilwoman's Book Discusses Aviation

Author: Staff Writer

Publisher: Shereen Oca

Date: 9/16/09

During the first transcontinental flight across the United States, a pilot by the name of Calbraith "Cal" Rodgers completed his 70-stop trip from Sheepshead Bay, N.Y., to the West Coast by taxiing his plane in the Pacific Ocean just off Long Beach's Pine Avenue pier in 1911.

In 1920, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Armed Forces, took her inaugural plane ride, flown by Polytechnic High School alumnus Frank Hawks, in Long Beach. At the time, Earhart and her father were attending the Earl S. Daughtery's air circus, a stunt-laden aviation event replete with wing walking and upside-down flying.

Daugherty, a commercial, military and stunt pilot, exhibition flyer and more, helped create the city's first non-beach airfield and Southern California's first municipal airport in 1923 -- now known as the Long Beach Municipal Airport-Daugherty Field.

In her second book, "Early Aviation in Long Beach," Fifth District Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske highlights these firsts as she chronicles the accomplishments of legends during the "golden age of aviation."

"I think the most interesting thing was the fact that Long Beach was such a focal point for early aviation," Schipske said. "I'm a native of Long Beach. I certainly did not know that until I did research."

"Early Aviation in Long Beach" follows Schipske's first book with Arcadia Publishing, entitled "Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach." With more than 200 black and white photographs, this follow-up book explores the relationship between the city and aviation from Long Beach's beginnings to World War II.

"I think it calls attention to how significant Long Beach was in starting aviation in the country," Schipske said of her recently published work. "I think it's something we should celebrate and get the word out. I was stunned by how many significant aviation events happened in Long Beach."

Schipske said she initially set out to write a book about the history of the Long Beach Airport, but found such a wealth of information and images at the Main Library and Long Beach Municipal Airport as well as online in the Library of Congress and National Archives that she decided to split the project into two books. The next will most likely document the airport's development from World War II to the present, she added.

One of the most interesting revelations she had, Schipske said, came to her while she was conducting research for "Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach." She said she was stunned when she came across hundreds of photographs of Long Beach aircraft workers online at the Library of Congress Web site.

Long Beach," she continued. "I thought there's got to be more than this."

There was, and after 10 months of research and writing, Schipske finished "Early Aviation in Long Beach."

"I am especially interested in local history," said Schipske, who has a bachelor's degree in history from the University of California, Irvine, among several other academic accomplishments. "I think that there are so many wonderful things that happened in Long Beach and because of Long Beach. We've got a great history here and we need to get it out and let people know."

"Early Aviation in Long Beach" costs $21.99.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738570839
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
09/14/2009
Series:
Images of Aviation Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,150,264
Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.39(d)

Meet the Author


Long Beach City councilwoman and author Gerrie Schipske discovered this fascinating part of aviation history while writing her first Arcadia publication, Rosie the Riveter in Long Beach, about the thousands of women who worked at the Long Beach Douglas Aircraft plant in World War II.

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