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World War I Planes: Topics in Chronicling America

In the early 20th century, planes were introduced and later developed as war machines for World War One. This guide provides access to material related to "WWI Planes" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.


"American Bombers nearing their objective." December 28, 1919. New-York Tribune (New York, NY), Image 47. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers.

As the world geared up for the next military conflict, the introduction of planes was an opportunity to develop advanced war machines. Though their usefulness was unknown and debated, it was assumed that they would have an important role in the next war. When the First World War was declared, all the testing, trials, and experiments were put to the test on the war front. Read more about it!

The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.

The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.


September 9, 1908 Orville Wright preforms official trial in front of army board August,
1909 Aviation Field at College Park, MD is established by the army signal corps.
July 15, 1910 Glenn Curtiss preforms stunt practicing dropping “bombs”.
February 17, 1911 Curtiss successfully stops at U.S. cruiser with air boat.
August, 1914 The First World War breaks out.
April 6, 1917 The United States entered the war.