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Aviators and the Academy: Early Aeronautics in Canada
Aviators and the Academy: Early Aeronautics in Canada
By Jonathan B. Scotland, Edward P. Soye
Published by CjBobrow
1 August 2016
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Aviators and the Academy: Early Aeronautics in Canada

Aviators and the Academy: Early Aeronautics in Canada
By Jonathan B. Scotland, Edward P. Soye
Oak Knoll Books, New Castle, Delaware, 2009
$20.00 Pp.105, ISBN: 9780772761156
8.5” x 8”, Soft Cover
46 Photographs, Bibliography
Language: English

In 2015 Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library of the University of Toronto presented a unique exhibition of WWI aviation objects, documents, books and ephemera embodying the Canadian aviation experience.

Ed Soye and Jon Scotland, the curators of this exhibition, also produced this well-illustrated catalogue to accompany the event. It is obvious from reading this work that they have spent a great deal of investigative energy unearthing the Canadian aviation experience during WWI. This research includes the involvement and efforts of pilots, engineers, mechanics, and designers during that time.

This work, which is derived from their larger study, focuses on a different aspect than most WWI histories. It begins with the Canadian 1919 Victory Year celebrations, which included William Barker, VC, flying a Fokker D.VII at the first Canadian National Exhibition. The overarching story that unfolds is an interesting look at Canadian aviation history, one that is interwoven with the British Empire and the Dominion’s aviation legacy. It contains numerous contemporary photographs, images and documents. Perhaps one of the most evocative images in the book is of Barker sitting in the remnant fuselage of his Snipe with what can best be described as a 1000-mile stare.

The subject of the War Trophy Collection and the fate of the 100 aircraft figures prominently in this work. Those that managed to survive the scrap heap are central to what amounts to some of the most unique collections to be found in the world. How and why this all came to be is an interesting story that involves national identity, remembrance and commemoration.

The following YouTube site offers a 10 min tour of the exhibition:



Carl J. Bobrow
Museum Specialist, National Air and Space Museum
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