THE ORIGINS OF THE GOODYEAR BLIMP: THE STORY OF THE AIRSHIP, 1931, SIGNED BY OVER 30 PIONEER AVIATORS INCLUDING INVENTOR BILLY PARKER
ALLEN, Hugh. The Story of the Airship. (Akron: Goodyear Tire & Rubber, 1931). Octavo, original embossed silver-stamped pictorial black paper boards. $2900.
Early edition of this guide to zeppelins, balloons, and blimps, with 129 photographs and an introduction by Goodyear president P.W. Litchfield, signed by pioneer aviator Billy Parker and over three dozen of his aviators at the 1931 National Air Races in Cleveland.
First published in 1925, this scarce, wonderfully bound pamphlet documents the origins and recent history of blimps (or "Air Yachts"). Goodyear's first blimp, for example, built in 1919, was used "in passenger carrying between Los Angeles and Catalina Islands, in mapping deep sea fishing, and in motion picture making." This is the seventh edition; a new edition was published every year beginning in 1925. The front board features a Navy blimp flying over a city skyline at night. This copy was signed on August 30, 1931 at the National Air Races by more than 30 early aviators including Billy Parker (built six planes from scratch and co-invented the spacesuit); Zantford Granville (co-founder of Granville Brothers Aircraft Co.); Mildred Clema Granger (one of the earliest women with a pilot's license); C. Lienesch (inventor of Anilol, an auxiliary fuel); Walter Carr (a World War I flight instructor); Eddie August Schneider (the youngest American to receive a commercial pilot certificate and holder of three transcontinental airspeed records for under-21 pilots); and many others. Laid-in signed typed presentation letter from the book's early owner to Milton Parker, one of Billy Parker's descendants. Early owner inscription.
Text block expertly reinforced, only a few faint stains to interior, light wear and soiling to binding.