San Mateo, California: [circa 1920].
Hardcover. Oblong quarto. Measuring 12½" x 9". String-tied brown cloth over stiff paper boards. Contains nine sepia-toned silver gelatin photographs measuring between 3" x 4" and 3½" x 6½", without captions. Fine album with near fine contents.
Photo album of pioneer aviator, Clarence Walker of San Mateo, California in the 1920s. It includes newspaper clippings and photographs detailing Walker’s trials and errors as a young aviator including being the first to crash a plane in Hawaii on June 13, 1911. Walker is credited with pioneering the study of aviation at the University of Utah. He tried building a plane while a student there but eventually bought a Curtiss Aeroplane. One clipping reads, “Clarence H. Walker, the wealthy young aviator of San Mateo startled the residents of Redwood City this week by making two spectacular flights in his aeroplane over the edge of the town.” According to the Air and Space Museum, “although a successful aviator, he suffered numerous crashes into trees, a fence, a barn, and a telegraph pole, all of which he survived.” To that point another headline included here reads, “Young Aviator in an Accident Walker’s Biplane is Smashed.” Walker joined the 11th Company of Coast Artillery presumably just after World War I and was set to “head the aviation corps.” The album ends with photographs from air shows featuring crowds, planes in the sky, and Walker posed with his bi-plane.
A modest but interesting documentation of the career of a pioneer aviator.