Summer Auction 2019 Sale 76
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 7/31/2019
THEODORE C. LYSTER (1875-1933) United States Army physician and aviation medicine pioneer who insisted on making military aviation physicians organic members of the flying squadrons, thus creating the position and role of "flight surgeon". Historic pair of signed items, includes: Typed D.S. "T.C. Lyster", 3pp. 4to., New York, [Aug. 9, 1919], a proposal for the organization of the Air Medical Service "...For the purpose of reducing all avoidable deaths of Pilots, Observers and Passengers in air-craft, and of lessening the needless wastage from crashes of machines in the air..." The proposal goes on to describe the organization's funding (derived from an endowment of $250,000), its operational divisions, and its goals, including: "...the examination and re-examination of Pilots... The Establishing Flight Surgeons in as many states as possible... Proper medical and sanitary control in all flying fields..." Lyster signs in black ink at the conclusion. WITH: Fine content T.L.S. "Lyster", 3pp. 4to., New York, Aug. 9, 1919, transmitting the document described above to prominent promoter of civilian and military aviation, publisher, investor and president of the Aero Club of America HENRY C. WOODHOUSE (1884-1970), and providing some sample language that could be added to a House Resolution related to a proposed "Medical Division" of the U.S. Army Air Service: "...The Medical Division is charged with the duty of all that pertains to the physical condition of flying personnel, in its selections, classification, and maintenance of efficiency, and all the care of the sick and wounded and so forth..." He goes on to give some interesting analysis of the post-World War I Army Air Service, in part: "... Gen. [and first Chief of the United States Army Air Service Charles T.] Menoher came up to speak to me in the club on Wednesday last. He was not very hopeful of saving much from the wreck of the Air Service. It looked to him that the force would be reduced to a little over one thousand officers. You are in a much better position to weigh things than I, but to me it is quite evident that there is a very strong feeling for an independent Air Service, if the American Government is going to get any place in the air..." Lyster adds a few ink emendations in the text, and signs at the conclusion in black ink. Both letters show original mailing folds, slight toning to the edges and slight paper clip marks to the top left corners, else very good. WITH: Retained copies of three typed letters (unsigned) sent by Woodhouse, each 1p. 4to., New York, Aug. 17, 1919, the first to Lyster noting his approval of his plan for the Air Medical Service, and the two remaining to California Congressman Charles F. Curry and Indiana Senator Harry S. New, transmitting the language discussed in Lyster's letter described above for inclusion in their respective bills. These retained copies show chips and minor toning to the edges, else very good. Five pieces overall. The Air Medical Service and the position of flight surgeon were established in response to the high flight mishap rate among aircrew serving in the Army Air Service during World War I. It was determined that many accidents were the result of high G-forces, spatial disorientation, hypoxia and other medical factors experienced by pilot's in less than perfect health. These factors could be detected by basic medical screenings and similar British initiatives had reduced the fatal accident rate from 60% to 20% during the war. Lyster's second major contribution was to insist on making aviation surgeons be organic parts of the squadrons. This arrangement meant that surgeons familiar with aviation would deploy with the flying units, rather than being part of a larger medical organization that would be slower to respond.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $0.00
Estimate: $200 - $300
Auction closed on Wednesday, July 31, 2019.
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