SEATTLE, Dec. 2, 2009
--Seattle was a hub of aviation long before it became "JetCity." On Dec. 26 at 2 p.m., Seattle authors Ed Davies and Steve Ellis present a program based upon their new book, "Seattle Commercial Aviation 1908 - 1941." The program draws from hundreds of photographs gathered for the book, which illustrates Seattle aviation from the earliest dirigible flights to the arrival of commercial airmail and the airlines. The authors show how a few Seattle aviation pioneers contributed to many spin-offs in the industry. A question and answer session and book signing follows the program. The presentation is in the William M. Allen Theater and free with admission to the Museum.
Ed Davies has written hundreds of magazine articles and several books about aviation. Since moving to Seattle in the late 1990s he has specialized in the history of Boeing and airmail service. Steve Ellis is a Seattle native and former journalist. He has served as a volunteer at The Museum of Flight Library and Archive for the past seven years. Ellis grew up hearing his father's stories about the early days of commercial aviation in the Northwest. His father, Robert Ellis, began his long career in aviation as a mechanic and copilot in the late 1929s with early air carriers West Coast Air Transport, Pacific Air Transport and United Air Lines. He retired from UAL in 1973. A display about Robert Ellis is on view in the Museum's Early Northwest Aviation exhibit.
As part of the lecture, Davis and Ellis will show photographs depicting dirigible flights at Seattle's 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the origins of Boeing Aircraft, and the pioneering efforts of Pacific Air Transport, United Airlines and Northwest Airlines. Their presentation will also look at Seattle's emergence as the aviation gateway to Alaska.
Image: Anscel Eckmann (pictured) became the first person to fly nonstop between Seattle and the Alaska panhandle when he flew this Lockheed Vega to Juneau in April 1929. Photo credit: Museum of History and Industry: Post-Intelligencer Collection.