Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Charles Lindbergh's Flight Goggles Join Minnesota Historical Society Collection


In May 1927, a 25-year-old from Little Falls gained worldwide fame when he completed the first-ever nonstop, solo transatlantic flight. The 33 ½-hour flight from New York to Paris made Charles Lindbergh into a lifelong celebrity.

The Minnesota Historical Society (MNHS) recently acquired a pair of Lindbergh's flight goggles. While the story of these particular 1930s US Navy MK1 goggles isn't known, this artifact helps MNHS document Lindbergh's celebrity and ongoing impact on aviation after his famous flight.

"Many people forget that after 1927, Lindbergh continued to make contributions to the field of aviation by working as a consultant for Transcontinental Air Transport (later TWA), Pan American Airways, and the Aeronautics Branch of the Department of Commerce of the government," said Melissa Peterson, site manager at Charles Lindbergh House and Museum, the aviator's childhood home in Little Falls. "These goggles will help MNHS share additional stories of Lindbergh's work in aviation beyond his 1927 flight."

The goggles also tell the story of Lindbergh's enduring celebrity. They were originally a gift from Lindbergh's widow, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, to her New York City physician, Dr. John Lattimer, who was known for his celebrity patients. In addition to Lindbergh, he collected items from the likes of Greta Garbo and Katharine Hepburn. After Lattimer's 2007 death, the goggles were purchased by a collector, and MNHS bought them at auction.

MNHS cares for many items related to Lindbergh's life, including his family home in Little Falls, where he saw his first plane as a child. At Charles Lindbergh House and Museum, visitors can learn about Lindbergh's early life and see a variety of artifacts, like broken propellers from his days on the barnstormer circuit and the 1916 Saxon Six car that a teenage Charles drove across the country-which locals dubbed "Lindy's first plane" after his famous flight.

The goggles will be digitized and images will be available on the MNHS website. Digitization of collections items for online access is made possible by the Legacy Amendment's Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on Nov. 4, 2008.


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