Individuals within the collection of note include: LT Theodore G. Ellyson, Glenn H. Curtiss, LT John H. Towers, LT Patrick Bellinger, Lincoln J. Beachey, Colonel John Cyril Porte, Paul Beck, Henry Ford, & Lewis Brereton.
Also included are two photo albums, which appear to have been donated by Glenn Curtiss and mostly date earlier than the loose images below. The albums show original photography on the following subjects: 1909 double pontoon experiments; Eugene Ely on the Pennsylvania, early hyrdo experiments (including over the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, CA); 1911 North Island school machines; Curtiss School 1911-1912; aircraft in San Diego 1913; Curtiss Tractor (military type: T150 & T149); flying boats (double tractor screws, model K, model R, etc); Langley machine; & Curtiss Marine ambulance, etc. An itemized image list is available.
Captain Washington Irving Chambers, USN (1856–1934) was a United States Navy officer who played a major role in the early development of naval aviation, serving as the first officer to have oversight of the Navy's aviation program. It was mainly under Chambers' guidance and direction that the Navy's interest in aviation took firm root. When the Navy had neither planes nor pilots, Chambers arranged for a series of tests in which Glenn Curtiss and Eugene Ely demonstrated to a skeptical Navy Department that aircraft could be operated from ships. Chambers not only advocated reform, innovation and a lively interest in the new science of air flight, but personally proposed, recommended, and designed mechanisms which were to be of great help to future generations of aviators.