North America, USA, from Clover Field Airport, Santa Monica, California (the first airport in that city), ca. 1917 to 1922 CE. An absolutely gorgeous piece of early aviation history, this is a massive wood and brass propeller from a biplane. Airplane aesthetics have captivated us since the earliest days of mechanical flight, and this piece is a fabulous example of why - its graceful curves, symmetrical form, brass rivets, and polished brass edges instantly call to mind the romance of early travel. The shape is scimitar like, with each tip having a long brass sheath held in place with dozens of rivets. Stamped near the hub are some numbers and letters that appear to read, "2253 DN 152 8' 8"" with the final two denoting the width of the propeller and the first four the serial number. In accordance with early propellers, it is over eight feet long - indicating the slower RPM, in the 1200 to 1700 range, of early planes (later propellers would be 6-8 feet long for higher RPM engines). The hub has 8 bolt holes. Size: 105.25" W x 8.75" H (267.3 cm x 22.2 cm)
Clover Field Airport is notable for being the initial takeoff and final landing point for the first air circumnavigation of the Earth in 1924. It took a fleet of four planes from March 17 to September 23 - with only two planes reaching the end - to complete the feat. With the serial number somewhat difficult to read, it is hard to identify this propeller. It may have been made by Gardner Propellers of Illinois.
Provenance: private Hawaii, USA collection; ex Santa Monica, California, USA collection
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Professionally restored by a conservator. Highly polished with a loss to one side of the hub that could not be restored. The serial number is difficult to read and may have been partially obscured by the restoration.