1927-1945. Various sizes and dates. Item #CAT0137
Clara Adams was a wealthy widow who took up air travel in its early days, setting records for transatlantic flights and circumnavigation as a commercial airline passenger. In doing so, she helped popularize flying as a safe and comfortable way to travel. She was friends with many famous women of aviation, including pilots Amelia Earhart, Alys McKey Bryant, and Thea Rasche. This collection includes three photographs with Earhart and one with Rasche, some with holograph inscriptions. Also present are items related to the captain of the Graf Zeppelin, Hugo Eckener; a rare Ohio hobbyist magazine; and a curious leaflet advertising light art Clavilux recitals. An unusual collection, collected by Adams and showing her range of interests.
Contents arranged chronologically:
Sproul, William Cameron. ALS. Postmark: Dec 8, 1927. Single leaf,  pp.; together with envelope. Sproul was a governor of Pennsylvania, he writes to Adams that he is staying at a hunting lodge in Virginia and quite unwell. He died in 1928.
(Earhart, Amelia) Photograph of Clara Adams and Amelia Earhart, . 8 x 10 inches, somewhat faded, signed by Chautauqua portrait photographer Harold Wagner. Photograph taken at the home of Dr. and Mrs. Arthur Bestor, after Earhart landed her plane at the Chautauqua Golf Course, on July 20, 1929.
(Earhart, Amelia) Two photographs of Clara Adams and Amelia Earhart with Earhart’s plane, . Each: 3 ⅝ x 5 ¾ inches and 2 ¾ x 5 ½ in., in corner mounts on vintage album paper, very good. Another photograph, verso, of Adams and unidentified group of people.
(Eckener, Hugo) Two Photographs of Adams with Dr. Hugo Eckener, 1929. Each approximately 3 ¼ x 5 inches, captions in Adams’ handwriting, with date and place, Lakehurst, N.J. Together with an envelope from Eckener to Adams, postmarked 1947. Eckener was the captain of the Graf Zeppelin, which departed from Lakehurst Naval Air Station during its record-setting circumnavigation in 1929.
(Rasche, Thea) Photograph with Thea Rasche, n.d. 7 ⅛ x 5 inches, very good. Rasche was a German aerobatics pilot, at Tempelhof airport, ca. 1930s. Very good.
Photograph of Clara Adams with Nazi officers. 5 ⅞ x 4 inches, very good. Adams and the officers are in a hot air balloon, presumably in Germany. Very good.
(Hamburg America Line) Canceled Check to Hamburg Am Line, 1935. Written by Clara Adams to the transatlantic shipping company Hamburg Am[erica] Line, in the amount of $123.50. Very good.
National Coin Journal and Hobby News: The Hobbiests (sic) Mail-Order Journal. [No. 1] Feb.-Apr. 1936. Lorain, Ohio: [The Hobby Shop] ,1936. Featuring Clara Adams on cover 8vo, 28 pp.; toned and frayed, covers separated. Rare single-issue hobbyist magazine. OCLC locates one institutional holding, the National Postal Museum.
Mortiz, Carol Joan. “To Clara Adams.” In The Brooklyn Eagle (Nov. 23, 1940). Newspaper clipping, mounted to Pan American Airways stationary, with ink notation presumed to be in Adams’s hand.
[Boeing]. “Tomorrow’s air-liner--today’s record breaker.” Advertisement clipped from Life magazine, 1945. With photo of the Stratoliner and inscription in Adams’ hand, noting that she was a passenger on the first flight, “N.Y. to Cal. / Cal. back to N.Y.” Folded, else good.
Eleven photographs of Clara Adams, various dates, most approx. 4 x 2 ½ in., a few smaller, good. Including image of her in front of the stairs to the “Mainliner,” and in Hawaii.
Lorraine Studio Brooklyn, photo sleeve. 5 ⅝ x 3 ½ in; empty.
Adams press photo. 7 ⅛ x 5 inches; holograph signature recto; verso pencil inscription also lists photographer, Glen Lowry.
Unsigned press photo, corner bent.
(Wilfred, Thomas) Clavilux Recitals played by Thomas Wilfred. [New York]: n.d. Single leaf, folded,  pp.; illus. with Adams holograph signature to front. Wilfred invented the Clavilux “light organ” to play lumia, an artform combining light and music. This item advertising performances at the Grand Central Palace in New York, where Wilfred ran the Art Institute of Light until the beginning of WWII.