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1917 Manufacturers Aircraft Association Map of the United States

Manufacturers Aircraft Association Map of the United States Showing Aviations Fields. - Main View

1917 Manufacturers Aircraft Association Map of the United States


Traces operational and proposed air mail routes and locates airfields and U.S. Naval Air Stations at the beginning of World War I



Manufacturers Aircraft Association Map of the United States Showing Aviations Fields.
  1916 (dated)     8.75 x 12 in (22.225 x 30.48 cm)     1 : 16000000


This is a 1917 J.N. Matthews Company and Manufacturers Aircraft Association map of the United States illustrating airfields and naval air stations at the outbreak of World War I. The map depicts the continental United States from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and from Canada to Mexico.

Illustrating the beginning of American aviation, the focus here is on the creation of an air mail system. Both proposed and operational air mail routes are indicated by thick red lines; proposed lines are noted by dashed lines and the only operational line between New York and Washington, D.C. is noted by a solid line. Aerial distances between the proposed hubs for air mail service are noted above the lines by large numbers. Thinner red lines illustrate air routes between important cities throughout the country and aerial distances between these cities are also given. At table in the lower left corner lists the fifty-six airfield and naval air stations noted on the map alphabetically. Each airfield or naval air station is marked by a square and identified by a number on the map, which correspond to the number next to the name of a given airfield or naval air station in the table.

Myriad cities and towns are labeled throughout the United States, with state capitals and other major cities labeled in bold. The nation's railway network is also illustrated, and each line is identified by the company operating over those rails. The Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada Mountains are illustrated and labeled, as are all five Great Lakes.
The Manufacturer's Aircraft Association
The Manufacturer's Aircraft Association (MAA) (1917 – 1975) was a patent pool and trade association of U.S. aircraft manufacturers. At the outbreak of World War I, the U.S. military and other elements of the U.S. federal government put pressure on the Wright Company, the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, and other manufacturers to form an association to break the patent logjam preventing American manufacturers from producing airplanes for the U.S. military. The brainchild of a committed formed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the Assistant Secretary of the Navy, the MAA was a private corporation that had agreements with aircraft manufacturers to cross-license their patents without substantial royalties.

This map was originally created by the J.N. Mattews Company in 1916 but was repurposed by the Manufacturers Aircraft Association and republished in 1917.


George E. Matthews (March 17, 1855 - June 11, 1911) was an American businessman who was the president of the J.N. Matthews Company. Born in Westfield, New York, Matthews and his family moved to Buffalo in his youth. His father, James N. Matthews, bought the Buffalo Express)in 1878, a year after Matthews graduated from Yale University. Matthews began working at the paper as a clerk, but eventually climbed the ladder to become the business manager. He ultimately became the treasurer of the Matthews-Northrup Co., printers and publishers of the Express, of which his father was the sole owner. The firm George E. Matthews and Co. became the owners of the Express following his father's death in 1888, and three years later it was consolidated with the Matthews-Northrup Works to become the J.N. Matthews Co., of which Matthews served as president. Mattews married Mary Elizabeth Burrows on July 12, 1887, with whom he had three children. Learn More...


Very good. Even overall toning. Blank on verso. Accompanied by original envelope.