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History of Carson

 
The Great Air Meet of 1910

The very first air show ever had in the United States took place right here in Carson!


Centennial Aviation Day
June 12, 2010
Los Angeles
1910 Poster The year was 1910, just seven years after the Wright Brothers made the first-ever flight near Kitty Hawk; just two years after Henry Ford introduced the Model-T automobile, and the same year that the Boy Scouts of America were founded.

The air show was held on January 10-20, near what is now California State University at Dominguez Hills.

The Great Air Meet proved to be a spectacular success; it attracted huge crowds of over 175,000 people to the Carson hilltop. (In 1910, that number represented more than half of the entire population of Los Angeles!)

Early airplanes from all over the world converged at Dominguez Hills, filling the skies and engaging in thrilling air races and exhibitions. For most Californians, it was their first opportunity to see a “flying machine”, and the public was fascinated.

Los Angelenos' fascination with aviation never waned - the greater Los Angeles region went on to become one of the central hubs in the aerospace industry, the home to Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed, Northrop, and one of the busiest international airports in the world.
 
Airplane 1910
Today, the area where the 1910 Air Show was held has been declared California Historical Landmark No. 178.

A special commemorative bronze plaque stands at 1850 Wilmington Avenue - about a half mile northwest of the place where the Air Meet took place. (Appropriately enough, it also happens to be the highest spot in the City of Carson, some 195 feet above sea level.)
  
Airplane Glider Hill
(See Thomas Bros. Map 764-H2)

(Fans of aviation history will also note that the only westward street in that stretch of Wilmington Blvd. is named after Glen Curtis, a pioneer in aviation who was among the first Americans to fly and design planes.)
 
Click here to see a series of pages devoted exclusively to the Air Meet of 1910, maintained by C.S.U.D.H.
(If you want to see some examples of the vintage aircraft from this period in history, click here to visit the National Air & Space Museum's page about the Golden Age of Flight.)