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Richard C. du Pont and Summit Aviation scrapbooks and photographs

1930-2002
 Collection
Accession: 2009-211

Abstract

Richard C. du Pont (1911-1943) was an aviator and businessman. In 1938, he purchaseds stock of an inactive company called All American Aviation, Inc. and became PresidentThis collection encompasses the time of Richard C. du Pont's marriage to his death, with a particular focus on his work with gliders. The establishment and growth of Summit Aviation, his son's private air transportation company, is heavily documented from the early 1960s onward. The majority of the collection consists of newspaper clippings and photographs.

Dates

  • 1930-2002

Creator

Extent

7 Linear Feet

General Physical Description

1055 items and includes photographic prints, negatives, calendars and scrapbooks. The photographs are in both b&w and color and are of various sizes predominately 8 x 10 in. and smaller. 261 b&w prints 9.5 x 12 in. or smaller; 794 color prints 8x10 in. or smaller; 17 albums (14 removed from binding and rehoused for conservation purposes); 6 color calendars at 17 x 10 in.; 1 guestbook at 8 x 10.5 in.; 1 watercolor painting at 10 x 14 in.; 1 pen and ink drawing at 15 x 22 in.

Biographical note

Richard C. du Pont (1911-1943) was an aviator and businessman. In 1938, he purchaseds stock of an inactive company called All American Aviation, Inc. and became President. All American Aviation was originally incorporated by Dr. Lytle S. Adams (1881–1970), who had been experimenting with aerial pick-up devices since the 1920s. Adams was retained as Vice President.

Richard C. du Pont was born in Wilmington, Delaware to Alexis Felix du Pont (1879–1948) and Mary Chichester (1878–1965). He expressed a keen interest in flight early on but his focus coalesced in glider planes, which would become the focus of professional life. In 1934, Richard du Pont married Helena Allaire Crozer (1913-2006, after marriage is known as Allaire C. du Pont.

Founding All American Aviation in 1939, Richard C. du Pont oversaw company operations as president, with a primary focus of its production being glider plans and a proposed air mail pick up system. During World War II, his expertise in piloting gliders was called upon by the U.S. military in their research as a civilian advisor to the glider program. It was in this capacity as advisor to the U.S. military that Richard was killed in a glider accident in California in 1943.

All American Aviation, Inc., was renamed All American Airways, Inc., on September 20, 1948, in response to its evolution into a conventional airline. On January 2, 1953, it spun off its engineering and research units and became Allegheny Airlines, Inc. It was renamed USAir, Inc., on October 28, 1979.

Richard C. du Pont (1911-1943) and Allaire C. du Pont (1913-2006) son Richard C. du Pont, Junior or 'Kip' (1937–1986), founded Summit Aviation in 1960, which offered a variety of aviation services in Middletown, Delaware. An accomplished flyer, Kip du Pont ran the company as well as an additional airfreight carrier line until his death in 1986.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into two series: Summit Aviation and Richard C. du Pont; and arranged chronologically.

Scope and Content

Series I. contains several scrapbooks that detail various aspects of Richard C. du Pont's personal life and gliding career. His early work with engineer Hawley Bowlus (1896-1967) on the Bowlus/du Pont Albatross sailplane is documented as well as Richard du Pont's gliding record set in 1934. One scrapbook details his engagement and marriage to Helena Allaire Crozer (1913-2006) as well as their honeymoon. Two scrapbooks focus exclusively on the months leading up to and just after his fatal gliding accident in 1943.

Series II. contains items relating to Summit Aviation Inc., the private air company run by Richard C. du Pont's son, Richard C. du Pont Junior or 'Kip'. This material is mostly contained in a number of scrapbooks featuring images of Summit Aviation employees, airplanes owned by the company, flights in and out of the airport and various employee and promotional events. These scrapbooks also feature a large number of newspaper clippings, from local and national papers, featuring stories about Summit Aviation, passenger flights, accidents and the aviation industry in general.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

Gift of Caroline Prickett (2009.211) and Lana Wright (2009.212), May 2009

Bibliography

  • Frebert, George J. Delaware aviation history (Dover, DE : Dover Litho Printing Co., 1998)

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Richard C. du Pont and Summit Aviation scrapbooks and photographs
Status:
Author:
Elizabeth Fite
Date:
2013.
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400