1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet at Dominguez Flying Field Committee.

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Following the Reims International Aviation Meet in 1909, enthusiasm for aviation began to increase in the United States. In between meets in the South, Charles Willard and Roy Knabenshue discussed holding a meet in the winter, with Los Angeles being a good choice for weather reasons. After receiving a promise of participation from Glenn Curtiss in New York, Knabenshue contacted Dick Ferris, a Los Angeles athletic promoter and balloon enthusiast. Ferris gained the support of the local business community, formed an organizing committee, and Curtiss and Willard out to Los Angeles to find a suitable location for the meet.

The first location considered was a field in Santa Anita, but physical obstructions such as tall trees led the aviators to search for another site. About a month before the January start date, Dominguez Field was agreed upon. This field was located on the top of a small hill in land once a part of the Ranch San Pedro, an early Spanish land grant. The dates were set as January 10 to 20, with eleven full days of events planned. Once the site was settled, promotion of the meet began and grandstands were erected. Also, an expanded passenger platform was constructed at the Pacific Electric Station located closest to the Aviation Meet site to accommodate the large number of spectators expected to attend the event. Organizers invited a variety of participants to pilot airplanes, balloons, and dirigibles, including Louis Paulhan, a French aviator known for his flying at the Reims Meet. Because the meet was being billed as "international," Paulhan's participation was crucial and he was guaranteed a small sum of money as encouragement to attend. Cash prizes were allotted for scheduled events, including altitude, speed, and endurance competitions.

Aviation Meet spectators were thrilled by the performances of aviators Louis Paulhan, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Willard, and others. Paulhan brought to the event two Bleriot Monoplanes, two Farman Biplanes, and an entourage which included his wife, two student pilots/mechanics, the Baron and Madame de Pennendreff, and his black poodle. At the aviation meet he set a new altitude record (4164 ft.), endurance record (64 miles in 1 hr. 49 minutes 40 seconds), and won $14,000 in prize money. Glenn Curtiss won two events-fastest speed with a passenger (55 mph) and quickest start (6 2/5 seconds covering 98 ft.). Curtiss took home $6500 in prize money. Charles Willard was credited with the most accurate take off and landing skills, for which he receive a prize totaling $250. Attendance at the meet surpassed all expectations. An estimated 226,000 spectators purchased tickets for the show, with up to 250,000 in attendance overall, and gate receipts for the event equaled over $137,500. The event was considered a phenomenal success and helped to alleviate a perceived economic drought in the Los Angeles area. Annual aviation meets were held on Dominguez Field in 1911 and 1912.

From the description of 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection, 1909-1999. (California State University, Dominguez Hills). WorldCat record id: 68046219

History

Following the Reims International Aviation Meet in 1909, enthusiasm for aviation began to increase in the United States. In between meets in the South, Charles Willard and Roy Knabenshue discussed holding a meet in the winter, with Los Angeles being a good choice for weather reasons. After receiving a promise of participation from Glenn Curtiss in New York, Knabenshue contacted Dick Ferris, a Los Angeles athletic promoter and balloon enthusiast. Ferris gained the support of the local business community, formed an organizing committee, and Curtiss and Willard out to Los Angeles to find a suitable location for the meet.

The first location considered was a field in Santa Anita, but physical obstructions such as tall trees led the aviators to search for another site. About a month before the January start date, Dominguez Field was agreed upon. This field was located on the top of a small hill in land once a part of the Ranch San Pedro, an early Spanish land grant. The dates were set as January 10 to 20, with eleven full days of events planned. Once the site was settled, promotion of the meet began and grandstands were erected. Also, an expanded passenger platform was constructed at the Pacific Electric Station located closest to the Aviation Meet site to accommodate the large number of spectators expected to attend the event. Organizers invited a variety of participants to pilot airplanes, balloons, and dirigibles, including Louis Paulhan, a French aviator known for his flying at the Reims Meet. Because the meet was being billed as "international," Paulhan’s participation was crucial and he was guaranteed a small sum of money as encouragement to attend. Cash prizes were allotted for scheduled events, including altitude, speed, and endurance competitions.

Aviation Meet spectators were thrilled by the performances of aviators Louis Paulhan, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Willard, and others. Paulhan brought to the event two Bleriot Monoplanes, two Farman Biplanes, and an entourage which included his wife, two student pilots/mechanics, the Baron and Madame de Pennendreff, and his black poodle. At the aviation meet he set a new altitude record (4164 ft.), endurance record (64 miles in 1 hr. 49 minutes 40 seconds), and won $14,000 in prize money. Glenn Curtiss won two events-fastest speed with a passenger (55 mph) and quickest start (6 2/5 seconds covering 98 ft.). Curtiss took home $6500 in prize money. Charles Willard was credited with the most accurate take off and landing skills, for which he receive a prize totaling $250. Attendance at the meet surpassed all expectations. An estimated 226,000 spectators purchased tickets for the show, with up to 250,000 in attendance overall, and gate receipts for the event equaled over $137,500. The event was considered a phenomenal success and helped to alleviate a perceived economic drought in the Los Angeles area. Annual aviation meets were held on Dominguez Field in 1911 and 1912.

From the guide to the 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection, 1909-1999, (California State University, Dominguez Hills Archives and Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet at Dominguez Flying Field Committee. 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection, 1909-1999. California State University, Dominguez Hills, CSUDH
creatorOf 1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet Research Collection, 1909-1999 California State University, Dominguez Hills Archives and Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Beachey, Lincoln, d. 1915 person
associatedWith Beachey, Lincoln, d. 1915. person
associatedWith Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930. person
associatedWith Grenier, Judson. person
associatedWith Knabenshue, Roy, d. 1960. person
associatedWith Paulhan, Louis. person
associatedWith Willard, Charles person
associatedWith Willard, Charles. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Dominguez Hills (Calif.)
Dominguez Hills (Calif.)
Subject
Aeronautics--History--20th century
1910 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet at Dominguez Field
Aeronautics--Competition--California--Los Angeles
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

Active 1909

Active 1999

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