Amelia Earhart Across the North Atlantic

On May 20-21st, 1932, Amelia Earhart, flying a Lockheed Vega, became the first woman to make a solo flight across the North Atlantic. She took off from Harbour Grace in Newfoundland, and landed in Derry, Northern Ireland, 14 hours 54 minutes later. Here she poses with her red Vega shortly after her arrival in Ireland.

Check out this cool original footage of Amelia’s Harbour Grace departure:

Pandemic Post Office

At this time, we’re all relying so much on airmail, and yet it’s barely 100 years old! On this day in 1918, the USA Post Office made the first scheduled airmail trip between New York and Washington, D.C. Here’s some fun original newsreel footage of that important day! Keep an eye out for President Woodrow Wilson, and the Curtiss “Jenny” Army plane repurposed as a mail plane.

Lindy in Milwaukee

We posted a photo of our Charles Lindbergh statue last week. Here’s a photo of the real man, in Milwaukee in 1927.

Moving Charles Lindbergh

We moved Charles Lindbergh into the new hangar today – with proper health precautions, of course…

Let this photo go on the record: at Kelch Aviation Museum we’re doing our part to keep the world healthy!

Interesting Masks

When we’re not working from home, our staff wears masks. We know we may look a bit odd, but we aren’t the first ones – check out this very, um, interesting, mask situation from the 1918 flu pandemic!

Stay safe, everyone.

Pirsch REO Fire Truck

An awesome piece of local history has joined the museum, on permanent loan from the Brodhead Fire District. This Pirsch REO fire truck was purchased new by the city in 1923 and was in service until 1953. Restored in 1982, it has been in countless parades and celebrations, and on display at the “new” fire station since 1994. The crews wanted better exposure for her though, and needed the space in the fire house for newer equipment.

Look for the REO in the new “Bill & Sue Knight Memorial Vintage Airplane and Automobile Hangar” when the museum opens to the public. We’re grateful to the Brodhead Fire District for trusting us with the ol’ girl, and we promise not to test the siren and bell too much!

1953 Cole Bros. Fly-In

Someone donated a pamphlet from the Cole Brothers’ airshow in Brodhead back in 1953. Cool! Here’s some video of that same show in Rockford a few years later. Can you spot any familiar planes?

1918 Flu Pandemic

In looking through historic documents from the 1918 flu pandemic, we found this… How do you enforce such a thing?

Here at Kelch Aviation Museum, we’re relying on humor and hope. Remember, humanity has been through this before! Like our page and stay tuned for more historic tidbits, aviation updates, and vintage inspiration!

Learn & Earn

Check out this cool poster, circa 1918! There are lots of similarities between today’s COVID-19 and the 1918 flu pandemic, and here at Kelch Aviation Museum we’ve been finding some inspiring and timely treasures. Stay safe, everyone!