Lambert History Project

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The history of Lambert–St. Louis International Airport is the story of American aviation. Everything that has taken place on the airport’s footprint—from Lindbergh to American Airlines, jet airliners to space travel—constitutes a microcosm of the triumphs and tragedies of winged flight in America. The Aerial Crossroads of America chronicles the transformation of the patch of farmland leased by Albert Bond Lambert in 1920 into the sprawling international airport it is today. Illustrated extensively with images from the airport’s history, the book tells not only the story of Lambert, but also the history of what it means to take flight in America.

Aviation expert Daniel L. Rust begins his story with Albert Bond Lambert’s pioneering efforts to promote air travel in the Midwest. While other American airports might today eclipse Lambert, Rust shows that airports serving New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago all lack the longevity of Lambert and its range of historic activity. In the book, Rust moves at super-sonic speed, covering the 1923 Air Races, Charles Lindbergh and his Spirit of St. Louis, the US Air Mail service, the birth of American Airlines, military aviation, the rise of the aircraft manufacturing industry, the development of air traffic control, regulation and deregulation, and the decline of Lambert as a large hub following the demise of TWA and 9/11.

Brimming with anecdotes, little-known historical threads, and lively explanations of just what Lambert has meant to the aviation industry, The Aerial Crossroads of America will be an invaluable resource for anyone interested in aviation, inspiring readers to glance out their windows and admire the view on every ascent.


Background: 

The purpose of the Project is the creation of an in-depth, authoritative account of the history of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and its relationship to national and regional history that will be accessible and interesting to a broad public audience. Lambert is the most historic airport in the United States, having been in operation continuously since 1920.  Its history is a microcosm of aviation history and American history during that period, and is worthy of study and exposition.

The Project has been undertaken by the Missouri Aviation Historical Society, a Missouri not-for-profit corporation in cooperation with the Lambert St. Louis International Airport Authority. Memorandum of Understandings regarding participation are currently entered with Lambert International Airport, the Missouri History Museum and the Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum. The Project is organized by major subject matters and tasks.  Working groups will be responsible for research, collection of material and creating written work product, under the leadership of an Editorial Board and Editor in Chief responsible for coordinating the activities of the working groups:

Editor in Chief: 

Dr. Daniel L. Rust, PhD Center for Transportation Studies, University of Missouri – St. Louis

 

Editorial Board: 

  • Dr. Frederick W. Roos, Washington University in St. Louis
  • Daniel J. O’Hara, President, Missouri Aviation Historical Society
  • Charles A. Reitter
  • Alan B. Hoffman

 Documents 

You can download a complete outline of this current project by clicking here

 Mid-Year 2014 update is now available for viewing. 


°Published by the  Missouri History Museum Press, with proceeds directly benefiting the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.

6 thoughts on “Lambert History Project

  1. Dan: I was on the field from 8/1/1949 till 10/30/1951 working and going to school and I can tell you a lot that happened on the field. I quit Brayton 8/31/1950 to get married as they wouldn’t give me time off. I then went tp Remmert-Werner as lineman on 3rd shift and I was the only licensed mechanic on the Airport at that time so I got all the work.

    • Hi Paul,

      Sounds like you had an excellent experience! Feel free to contact Dan directly at danjo60@gmail.com. I read your comment on Facebook; hopefully we can work something out so that you can attend our monthly Thursday night meetings. It’s the best time slot for the majority of our members.

      Hope to meet you soon!

      —Chase Kohler (Webmaster/Communications)

    • Hi Kathy, thanks for visiting our website and your question. Lambert St. Louis airport is named after Albert Bond Lambert, who was the son of Jordan Lambert, the founder of Lambert Pharmaceutical Company, who produced “Listerine”. Albert was an early friend of aviation, and in 1920, Albert along with other representatives of the Missouri Aeronautical Society assumed control of 160 acres in Bridgeton, which was ultimately developed into the airport we know today. Lambert Airport is one of the oldest continously active airfields in the United States. The manuscript for our Lambert Airport History Project was recently delivered to the Missouri History Museum, and will be available as a comprehensive history of the airport due out next fall. Please plan to join us at one of our monthly meetings, which will recommence after the holidays on Jan 21, 2016. Please keep an eye on our our website/facebook page for all the latest.

      V/R,
      Dan O’Hara
      President

      • Mr. O’Hara,

        A friend of mine, Mrs. Don Horn (age 90), has a news clipping (about 1965) from the
        St. Louis Post-Dispatch that is about 9 inches x 17 inches in size. The article is
        about Mr. Ben Bell and his 70th birthday celebration and describes his WW I activities
        as a mechanic and his later friendship with Charles Lindberg, Oliver Parks,
        A. Bond Lambert and other St. Louis aviation persons.

        Mrs. Horn is from the St. Louis area and has a strong aviation background as a partner with
        her husband for many years in the Memphis area as an aeronautical parts supply and
        distribution center. They owned the Don Horn Company and she has saved many aviation items.

        Provide me an e-mail address and I will send you a photo of the news clipping. She is willing
        to donate this item if it will get a proper reception.

        Sincerely.
        David Olinger
        Col. USAF (Ret)

        deolinger1@aol.com & 901-489-9579

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