Clara Adams Papers
While in Germany, she obtained monographs on Zeppelins that are in his collection. Biographical items such as a personal clipping file, the itinerary of her around the world flight, speaking engagements, and memorabilia are also included.
The collection also contains manuscript materials relating to lighter-than-air travel as well as speeches, broadcasts, and notes relating to powered flight. There are notes and clippings about Adams’ personal flight records and observations, particularly those of inaugural clipper flights. Some materials pertain to aeronautical organizations such as Early Birds and Women's International Association of Aeronautics, aeronautical designers such as Earle S. Eckel (autogiro), and aeronautical events such as the dedication of the Floyd Bennett Airport. The collection also contains correspondence divided into incoming (arranged alphabetically by writer), outgoing (arranged chronologically), and correspondence about Adams (arranged chronologically). Incoming letters comprise the bulk of correspondence. The collection is also comprised of articles from periodicals, journals, and newsletters.
The collection arrived in fair condition. Materials in this collection were arranged primarily by subjects, i.e: personal papers, manuscript materials, aeronautical organizations, designers and events, correspondence, and newspaper clippings related to aviation and geography of the Pacific.
- 1919 - 1967
Language of Materials
Literary Rights Statement
4.2 Linear Feet (Eight manuscript boxes and one non-standard box (11.5x17.5x3.5).)
Her aviation connection began in March of 1914, where she flew in a Thomas flying boat with pilot Captain Walter E. Johnson at Lake Eustis, Florida. In February of 1917, Adams flew 1,000 feet at San Antonio, Texas, with pilot Lieutenant Marjorie Stinson of the Aviation Corps of the United States Army.
In 1924, a letter of introduction from Paul von Hindenburg led to a visit and friendship between Adams and Dr. Hugo Eckener as well as his associate, Dr. Ludwig Duerr. Adams and Dr. Eckener were guest passengers on a test flight of the ZR-3, later known as United States Navy dirigible Los Angeles. While in Friedrichshafen, Germany, home of the Zeppelins, Adams met Dr. Claude Dornier who designed and built the flying boat Do X.
In October of 1928, Adams purchased the first ticket for a female passenger to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Adams was the only woman who flew from the United States to Germany on the Graf Zeppelin (LZ-127) on its pioneer round trip originating in Germany. The flight lasted 71 hours. Adams visited with President Hoover in April of 1930 to obtain credentials in order to fly on British dirigible R-101 from England to the United States. Unfortunately, the airship crashed in France before the flight.
Adams was the only paying woman to fly on the Dornier Do X from Rio de Janeiro to New York in 1931. To meet the flight, she flew from the U.S. to Rio de Janeiro on Pan American Airways. In May of 1936, Adams was one of eleven women on board the maiden flight of the Hindenburg (LZ-129) from Germany to the United States. In the same year, she flew on the inaugural commercial passenger flight of Pan American's China Clipper across the Pacific Ocean. The 8,200 mile flight from San Francisco to Manila took six days with stops at Honolulu, Midway, Wake Island and Guam. She also flew on the first scheduled passenger flight of Pan American’s Hawaii Clipper to Hawaii. Adams also flew on the first round trip flight of the Bermuda Clipper from New York to Bermuda in 1937.
From June 18th to July 15th, 1939, Adams set a new passenger record for round-the-world flight by regular airlines at sixteen days and nineteen hours with a distance of 24,609 miles covered. She first flew from New York to Marseille in the Dixie Clipper- the first commercial transatlantic clipper flight. She then continued on to Leipzig, Athens, Basra, Jodhpur, Rangoon, Bangkok, Manila, Guam, Wake, Honolulu, San Francisco, and New York.
Adams flew on the inaugural coast to coast flight from New York to Los Angeles on Transcontinental and Western Air Stratoliner in fourteen hours and eight minutes in July of 1940. In September of the same year, Adams flew 8,000 miles on the passenger flight on a Boeing 314 flying boat from San Francisco to New Zealand with overnight stops in Hawaii, Canton Island, and New Caledonia.
To commemorate the 30th anniversary of the first passenger flight across the Pacific in 1966, Adams joined five of the original passengers and officers on a celebratory flight.
In 1968, Adams was one of fifty honored guests at the Explorers Club dinner tribute to the aviation industry.
Clara Adams died on February 10, 1971.
Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.
Record Group Code
1 = CAT/Air American Archives
2 = Doolittle Archives
3 = Lighter than Air Archives
4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library
5 = History of Aviation Archives (HAC)
6 = University Archives
7 = HAC Stacks
8 = WPRL Stacks
9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection
10 = Belsterling Collection
11 = Closed Stacks
12 = Unidentified
13 = Chance Vought Archives
14 = Twirly Birds Archives
Image Format Code
P = Photograph/Postcard
S = Slide
N = Negative
T = Positive Transparency
B = Black and White
C = Color
5 = History of Aviation Archives (HAC)
CAP = Clara Adams Papers
= Series Number
1 = Box Number
1 = Folder Number
P = Photograph/Postcard
C = Color
1 = Image Number
Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.
- Boeing 314 (Seaplane)
- China Clipper (Airplane)
- Dornier Do X (Seaplane)
- Earhart, Amelia, 1897-1937
- Eckener, Hugo, 1868-1954
- First day covers (Philately)
- Graf Zeppelin (Airship)
- Hindenburg (Airship)
- Hindenburg, Paul von, 1847-1934
- History of Aviation Collection
- Hoover, Herbert, 1874-1964
- Los Angeles (Airship)
- Macon (Airship)
- Pan American World Airways, Inc.
- Post, Augustus, 1873-1952
- Rosendahl, Charles E. (Charles Emery), 1892-1977
- Trans World Airlines
- Transatlantic flights
- Transcontinental flights
- Transpacific flights
- Zeppelin, Ferdinand, Graf von, 1838-1917
- Guide to the Clara Adams Papers, 1884-1971
- Description rules
- Language of description
- English (eng)
- Edition statement
- First revision by Cassandra Zawojek, 2018-09-28.
- 2018-09-28: 1st revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace by Cassandra Zawojek.
Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository
3020 Waterview Pkwy
Richardson Texas 75080 US