CENTENNIAL OF AVIATION MEET, 1910 - 2010 Los Angeles International Aviation Meet

Monday, January 4, 2010

Large color poster that was used for the first aviation meet in 1910



For eleven days in January 1910, the Dominguez Hills area was the focal point of the Aviation world. Seven years after the Wright Brothers achieved the first successful airplane flight, 226,000 people came to see aviators, balloonists and dirigible pilots fly above Southern California for the first time.

The Los Angeles International Aviation Meet at Dominguez Field was the first aviation meet in the United States. Most Californians had never seen a machine flying through the air. The Air Meet boosters built a huge grandstand, an aviators’ camp, and improved train passenger platforms so citizens could get from downtown to Dominguez Hills.

The Air Meet took place 50 years before CSU Dominguez Hills was founded and about 125 years after the first Spanish Land Grant in California was awarded in 1784 to Juan Jose Dominguez. At the time lands surrounding this area were owned by members of the Dominguez, Carson, Watson and Del Amo families.

Spectators at the Air Meet saw renowned French aviator Louis Paulhan, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Willard and others break records for altitude (nearly a mile), endurance (1 hour, 49 minutes), fastest speed with a passenger (55 mph), and quickest start.

The Los Angeles Times, capturing the enthusiasm for the event, claimed that the meet was “one of the greatest public events in the history of the West.”

Additional information and photographs are accessible on the CSUDH website at http://archives.csudh.edu or www.1910dominguezmeet.com.

The Committee hosts a website that includes historical information, as well as short film clips from the first meet.

"Biplan Farman" Drawing of front and side of Farman Biplane

Charles Willard with Curtiss Biplane, 1910

Roy Knabenshue dirigible in flight, 1910

Aviators in Group, 1910 from left: Hilary Beachey, Col. Johnson(?), Glenn Curtiss, Louis Paulhan, Charled Willard, Didier Masson, Lincoln Beachey, Roy Knabenshue, Charled Hamilton.

CSUDH Marker Plaque, 1974

Air meet colored drawing, 1910

See the CSUDH Digital Collections for more photographs, slides, news clippings, programs, postcards and other aviation ephemera.

Permission to publish images must be obtained from the CSUDH Archives as owner of the physical item and copyright. In instances when copyright ownership is not clear it is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain copyright permission.