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1930: Air Race Miami, the K K Culver Trophy and fast women!

1 August 2012

1930: Air Race Miami, the K K Culver Trophy and fast women!

The early 20th Century and the Golden Age of Aviation were good to Miami Florida when there were airlines, barnstormers and racers galore. A particular air race, the All-American, was held annually from 1929 through 1935 — later reborn as the All-American Air Maneuvers from 1935 through 1941 then from 1946 through 1950. Different classes raced, included a women only event, as well as parachute competitions and huge fly pasts to open the gala. Later, in the late 1930s, Culver Aircraft Company (with Albert Mooney as the chief designer) engaged famed industrial designer Viktor Schreckengost (Cleveland Institute of Art ) — who was responsible for a variety of designs ranging from the semi-tractor cabover design to flatware — to create the beautiful K K Culver Trophy for the winning aviator of the women’s racing class.

An illustration of the trophy shows the lithe figure of a woman cradling a Culver Aircraft Co. product, the Culver Dart. The trophy is made of silvered bronze and is currently with the Wolfsonian Museum of Florida International University. The photographs in this post, though, were taken when it was on loan for an exhibition at HistoryMiami.

Parachutists competing in the All-American Air Meet in Miami, 1930, pose with an American International Airways Sikorsky S-37 (note the open cockpit) — State of Florida Archives photo

Women pilots at the 1930 All-American Air Meet of Miami — State of Florida Archives photo

USS Akron in a formation fly past during the Fifth Annual All-American Air Races (Meet) in 1933 Miami — State of Florida Archives photo

US Army aviation formation fly past during the Sixth Annual All-American Air Races (Meet) in 1934 Miami — State of Florida Archives photo

The K K Culver Trophy designed by famed artist Viktor Schreckengost— photo by Joseph May

Her hands may have cradled a replica of the Culver Dart in the same silvered bronze with a golden cowl — photo by Joseph May


My thanks to David McLay for correcting the information regarding which airline was flying the Sikorsky S-37 pictured above 🙂

4 Comments leave one →
  1. David "Mac" McLay permalink
    1 August 2012 23:58

    Another interesting post, Joe! The referenced S-37 was not, in fact, a Pan American Airways aircraft but one from an Argentine carrier, American International Airways. See
    All the best from Kitty Hawk, NC and on Roanoke Island,

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      2 August 2012 00:15

      Mac, thanks. I will correct it in the morning. You must have been watching the Olympics too 😉
      Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

  2. Lisa H. permalink
    8 November 2012 23:24

    Schreckengost’s design proposal for the Culver trophy is also in the Wolfsonian’s collection, and it shows a plane in the figure’s hands – which I’m assuming is the Culver Dart as you mentioned.

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      9 November 2012 10:43

      Yes it is — that is the photo which was part of the reserach. The trophy belongs to the Wolfsonian, as well. Thanks for the information — help is always appreciated 🙂

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