Custer, Levitt Luzern, 1888-

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Levitt Luzern Custer was born on July 27, 1888 in Dayton, Ohio. As a young boy, he frequented the Wright Brothers' Bicycle Shop, where he met the acquaintance of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Katherine Wright was his Latin teacher at Steele High School. This began a long friendship with the Wrights, particularly Orville.

Custer attended Central District School and Steele High School, both in Dayton. He then attended Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, and the Massachusetts Institute of technology in Cambridge, Mass.

After briefly working for the National cash register Company, he founded the Custer Specialty Company in 1916. There he developed mechanical devises such as the statoscope, cars, motorized invalid chairs, power scooters, and various amusement park rides.

Custer was also a figure in aviation. He was a pioneer in flying and racing hot air balloons. His father Levitt Elsworth Custer had done the same. Custer also became an official timer for the national Aeronautic Association and the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Custer officiated with Orville Wright at world record flight trials at McCook Field and Patterson Field, both near Dayton.

Custer was a member of the Dayton Engineers' Club; Early Birds; National Association of Amusement Parks, Pools, and Beaches; Kiwanis; and Free Masons. Custer was also a member of the Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Custer had three sons, James, Randall, and Donald from his first marriage. In his second marriage to Gladys Mills he had one son, Don.

From the guide to the Levitt Luzern Custer Papers, 1886-1998, (Wright State University, Special Collections and Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Levitt Luzern Custer Papers, 1886-1998 Wright State University, Special Collections and Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Beachey, Lincoln, 1887-1915 person
associatedWith Brookins, Walter R., 1889-1953 person
associatedWith Custer Specialty Company corporateBody
associatedWith Doolittle, James Harold, 1896-1993 person
associatedWith Early Birds of Aviation (Organization) corporateBody
associatedWith Ford, Henry, 1863-1947 person
associatedWith Harris, Harold R., 1897-1989 person
associatedWith Kettering, Charles F., 1876-1958 person
associatedWith Wright, Orville, 1871-1948 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Amusement rides--1919-1939


Birth 1888

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Ark ID: w67r47v6

SNAC ID: 65013378