Guide to the Curtiss Day Photograph Collection

Curtiss Day Photograph Collection
Wright State University, Special Collections and Archives
Phone: 937-775-2092
Day, Curtiss La Q., 1996-1972
.25 linear feet
Curtiss La Q. Day, an early American aviator, obtained his pilot's license at the Wright Brothers School in 1914. He was a flight instructor at several flight schools, including the Wright Flying School at Hempstead Plains, New York. Day was also a member of the Early Birds and his name appears on the Wright Memorial Plaque in Dayton. The collection consists of 79 photographs, 2 letters and a postcard.
The records are in English

Biography of Curtiss La Q. Day

Curtiss La Q. Day was born May 24, 1896 in Paxton, Illinois. He spent most of his young years dreaming and reading about flying machines. He built his first biplane glider the winter of 1910. Day attended the Thomas Brothers Flying School at Bath, New York. He began his instruction in a single-seater Thomas pusher and was limited to taxing up and down the field by his ground instructor Frank Burnside. His first flight was with Walter Johnson in a Thomas Flying Boat at Conesus Lake. At this time his parents notified the company that he was a minor and forced his return home.

Day later entered the Wright Brothers School at Simms Station in Dayton, Ohio. Here he soloed in a Wright Model B and obtained a Pilot License No. 302 after flying for his tests on July 22, 1914. Day then gained employment at Hensil Aero Stabilizer Company at Cicero Field, Chicago, Illinois as a test pilot. Day later became an assistant instructor at the Wright Flying School at Hempstead Plains, New York in June 1916. Howard Rinehart, Day's former instructor was in charge of the school. After graduation from college in 1917, Day began flying "Jennies" as a civilian instructor at Chanute Field. He joined the Air Service in two months; he was later commissioned and received his R.M.A. wings in 1918. Day also received his Expert License, No. 187 on August 14, 1917. In 1925, Day went to Morocco as a member of the "Escadrille Cherifienne" during the Riff War. After returning to the United States he gave up flying and entered the hotel business.

In the latter part of World War II he worked in the operations Department of Eastern Air Lines at LaGuardia Field, New York, and Savannah, Georgia. Curtiss La Q. Day was a member of the Early Birds, and his name appears on the Wright Memorial Plaque in Dayton. He passed away April 25, 1972.

Scope and Content

The Curtiss Day Photograph collection consists of 79 photographs, 2 letters and a postcard from the collection of Curtiss La Q. Day, an early American aviator. Many of the photographs contain information recorded by the photographer verso.

Statement of Arrangement

Arranged by topic.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.

Subject Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


Aeronautics -- Manuscripts -- Photographs


Day, Curtiss La Q., 1896-1972 -- Manuscripts -- Photographs
Laird, E.M.
Parker, Billy


Wright Flying School -- Ohio -- Dayton

Preferred Citation

[Box #, Folder #], MS-311, Curtiss Day Photograph Collection, Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.

Acquisition Information

Wright State University Special Collections and Archives purchased the collection in 1999 from Zita Books.

Collection Inventory

Box 1 / Folder 1
Childhood/Old Age; 4 photographs of Curtiss Day and 1 postcard, circa 1900

Box 1 / Folder 2
Wright School of Aviation; 12 photographs of Curtiss Day, flying and training in a Wright Flyer, circa 1914

Box 1 / Folder 3
Barnstorming; 26 photographs of Curtiss Day and his airplane, undated

Box 1 / Folder 4
WWI Flying for France; 10 photographs of Curtiss Day in uniform and in his airplane, circa 1917

Box 1 / Folder 5
Dayton-Wright Era Images; 7 photographs and 2 negs of various models of airplanes, circa 1914

Box 1 / Folder 6
Rhinehart-Whelan Images; 8 photographs of people and airplanes taken during the Rhinehart-Whelan days, undated

Box 1 / Folder 7
Matty Laird A.P., 1 letter and 1 autographed picture form E.M. Laird, undated

Box 1 / Folder 8
Billy Parker, 1 letter and 1 autographed picture from Billy Parker, undated

Box 1 / Folder 9
Reunions of All Kinds and the Early Birds; 10 photographs of Reunions and early aviators, undated