5/13/11

CHARLES LINDBERGH and the old letter


When I first went through the boxes of photos from the George Kallman estate I certainly wasn't expecting to find a photo like this. It was in an old paper bag that had "other friends" written on the outside. Inside the bag were a jumble of photos of different people. When I saw this one I'm sure my eyes bugged out a little bit as I recognized the face. Charles Lindbergh. I was holding a photo of Charles Lindbergh. How did it end up in the "other friends" bag? I'll never know.


The back of the photo is shown below.



From this information I'm gathering the photo was taken in Glendale, California by R. C. Talbot. You can see another photo taken by Talbot of the terminal here from the Smithsonian collection. Click here to go to a page showing a photo Talbot took of Amelia Earhart (go approximately half way down the page) at the terminal. And click here to see a photo of Talbot with the Wilson Aero Service troupe from a book about the old airport.

The Grand Central Air Terminal is still standing according to Wikipedia and is owned by the Walt Disney Company. Alas, who knows what currently resides on the ground where Lindbergh once stood.
Grand Central Airport, Glendale, California, also known as Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT), was an important facility for the growing Los Angeles suburb of Glendale in the 1920s. It was also a key element in the development of United States aviation. The terminal, located at 1310 Air Way, was built in 1928 and is still there. Owned since 1997 by the Walt Disney Company, it remains the last standing structure, and sole surviving witness, to the area's historic significance, and is in urgent need of restoration and repair. The single concrete 3,800-foot (1,200 m) runway still exists, but it was dug up and converted into Grand Central Avenue, serving cars, not airplanes. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
Below is my next Lindbergh "souvenir" purchased years ago at an antique store. Just a little letter in a little envelope. The envelope measure 3.5" x 3" and was sent from San Francisco to Los Angeles on September 17, 1927. On May 20 of the same year Lindbergh set out on his historic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis, landing in France on May 21st to a crowd estimated to be 150,000.

This little letter surprised me when I stood in the cluttered antique store reading it. I think you'll be surprised too.








I doubt today's children even know who Lindbergh was. Compared to their fast paced world he's low tech and nothing but history. But this photo and letter bring back a little bit of the mystery about a person who was famous for doing something, not for just promoting themselves as a spectacle.

This is my Sepia Saturday post and for a change I'm actually following the suggested theme.

23 comments:

  1. These are true treasures, and sharing them has allowed us a little slice of the magic. Thanks.

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  2. wow! great photo find. And that kid's letter is wonderful. Places you right at the scene.

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  3. Both the letter and photo are very interesting. It's hard to imagine a child writing a letter like that.

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  4. How delightful! especially the hugs and kisses at the end! LOL

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  5. Excellent find and post! Interesting and historical.

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  6. My nephews would think Lindy was a hero too - what treasures to have :-) Jo

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  7. How wonderful that Lindbergh was considered a ‘friend’! The letter is delightful.

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  8. What an exciting find! And I like the note that goes so sweetly with it.

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  9. love the letter. summer with granma i guess.

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  10. Thank you for sharing this intriguing find, T+L. It reminds me of a photo from the same genre in my aunt's collection which I scanned a few years ago, and which I was contemplating featuring on Photo-Sleuth. I wonder how many family collections such as these contain one or two celebrity snaps? I suspect most.

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  11. Actually the only real celebrity shots I have are those I've bought at estate sales. But I do find time-travel-celebreties all the time, even in family photos.

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  12. The photo is great (what a handsome man he was!), but the letter is the real treasure.

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  13. Lindbergh was a unique celebrity that was unlike any modern adventurer. His solo flight across the Atlantic was an accomplishment that made him a true national and international hero. His later life brought tragedy and revealed flaws that makes his biography well worth reading.

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  14. I love her little comment of knowing gramma was happy she wrote..they are so perfectly frank and honest! I think a few more children today know Lindbergh like here in Minneapolis, our main air terminal is called the Lindbergh and his plane hangs inside it..of course they are trying to change the names to terminal one and our Herbert Humphrey as terminal two!An excellent post and such a marvelous find in that precious box! So cool indeed!

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  15. A matching pair of great finds : they most both have pride of place in your collection.

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  16. I'm green with envy. I'd love to get my hands on both the letter and the photo. Great sepia post.

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  17. oe word: W-O-W!!
    i am floored!!
    amazing!!
    and that's what he called "other friends"???
    :)~
    HUGZ

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  18. Nice find -- he was such a hero at the time of his daunting deeds. I, however, prefer Anne Morrow Lindbergh.

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  19. What a find! the letter is very sweet too.

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  20. I road my bike past the Grand Central Air Terminal this afternoon. Contrary to the Wikipedia article, it's in good shape, though the windows are all covered up. I've been told it's used for storage. There is a fenced parking lot next to the buidling, but on weekdays anyone can go right up to the building and have a good look around.

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  21. That's nice to hear. I'll have to take a look on Google Earth to see where it is. I probably passed by it many times when I lived in Toluca Lake. Did most of my shopping over at the mall in Glendale.

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  22. I'm really impressed that you happened to have and were able to find this adorable little letter to pair it with the great Lindberg photo. I know you must be very organized.

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  23. Organized? Me? NOOOOOO! Far from it.

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