Old Magazines with Michael John, no. 3: Airplanes Earning Their Keep

by Michael John Jaeger What does dropping pens out of an airplane in Europe in the 1930s have to do with the history of aviation in southern Wisconsin? Read on for some thoughts.  Last month I looked at the U.S. air mail system in early 1922.  Air mail was one

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The Untold Story Of Bernard Pietenpol and Westy Farmer

On this date in 1901, Bernard H. Pietenpol was born. Considered the grandfather of the homebuilt airplane movement, BHP designed his 2-seat “Air Camper” in 1928 and powered it with a simple Ford Model A car engine. Watch Kelch Aviation Museum Archivist Hannah Shickles present “The Untold Story Of Bernard

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Photography Archive

Take a peek into the museum’s photography archive with this beautiful unpublished large-format negative, donated by Pat Sparling! Our team first identified the aircraft as a Monocoupe model 70, but records indicate it is an earlier Monocoupe model 22 with a 60 h.p. Detroit “Air-Cat” engine, likely built in 1928.

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Black History in Aviation

John C. Robinson, the Father of the Tuskegee Airmen, poses with a 1928 Alexander Eaglerock at the Waukegan Illinois flight school, Lake County Airways, in 1929. Robinson was a pioneering aviator and activist who went on to form the renowned aviation school for Black pilots at the Tuskegee Institute in

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Name the Plane!

Name the plane! We had an amazing set of pictures donated today by Rick Schneider of Brodhead. His father Rudy was an Army mechanic before WWII and took a lot of pictures of the aircraft he worked on. While we don’t normally concentrate on military aviation, this batch of local

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Waukegan Air Show of 1932

Here we see the Waukegan (Illinois) Air Show of 1932. Just think, all the airplanes in this picture are brand new! How many aircraft can you identify? Large format negative scan donated by Pat Sparling.

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Old Magazines with Michael John, no. 2: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night…”

By Michael John Jaeger, volunteer docent and historian The role that airmail played in the development of aviation in the United States is highlighted at the Kelch Aviation Museum.  This month I’ll explore how the airmail system looked at the start of 1922, a time the system was still young,

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Major Grant from Wagner Foundation Enables Phase III Construction

The Kelch Aviation Museum at Brodhead Airport is proud to announce the start of construction on its Phase III museum building project. Construction of “The Dick and Bobbie Wagner Atrium” is only possible due to a very generous financial commitment by The Wagner Foundation of Lyons, Wisconsin. The Wagner’s connection

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Old Magazines with Michael John, no. 1: Make Air Travel More Convenient!

I’m Michael John, a new volunteer docent at the Kelch Aviation Museum – and I’m “hooked” on old magazines, especially old airplane magazines. I thought I’d combine this compulsion with learning more about the Golden of Age of Aviation, and the rapid developments of aircraft uses and design throughout that

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Throwback Thursday

It’s Throwback Thursday! Here’s a shot of our namesake Al Kelch, circa 1970, posing in stylish trousers with the 1932 Franklin Sport 90 “Old Double Trouble.” The plane now lives at the Kelch Aviation Museum; Al’s plaid trousers have been lost to time.

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