CHAMBERLIN, CLARENCE. (1893-1976). American aviator. SP. (“Clarence D. Chamberlin”). 1p. Oblong Large 8vo. N.p. N.d. A black-and-white photograph of his biplane (NC726K, a Curtiss T-32 Condor, originally owned by Eastern Air Transport) on an airstrip next to which a number of people have gathered. Inset with an oval head-and-shoulders portrait of Chamberlin wearing his aviator cap and goggles. The plane is a later model than the Columbia in which he set his most notable records and bears the logo of Amoco (formerly Standard Oil and now owned by BP), presumably his corporate sponsor. Signed with a flourish over the lower right portion of the image.
In 1919, French-born American restaurateur Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 to anyone completing a solo nonstop flight from New York to Paris or vice versa, renewing his offer seven years later. Chamberlin was among those who took up the challenge, joining the ranks of naval commander and arctic explorer Richard Byrd and aviator Charles Lindbergh, who famously won the competition when he landed at Paris’ Le Bourget Airport on May 21, 1927.
Historic film footage of a Curtiss T-32 Condor II in flight
Prior to setting course for Paris, Chamberlin was already setting aviation records. With Bert Acosta he set an endurance record in April 1927 and Chamberlin might well have beaten Lindbergh to the Orteig prize had it not been for a legal injunction against the owner of his plane, which delayed his departure. Upon hearing of Lindbergh’s arrival in Paris, Chamberlin instead decided to attempt to set a distance record, and he indeed made a non-stop flight from Roosevelt Field to Eisleben, Germany in his Bellanca monoplane Columbia. This flight was the second non-stop transatlantic flight and the first to carry a passenger. Very faint creasing to the upper left and lower right corners. In fine condition.