Beautifully engraved Certificate from the Detroit Aircraft Corporation
issued in 1943. This historic document was printed by the Wright Banknote Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of an airplane and a blimp. This item has the signature of the company's President, William Benson Mayo and Secretary, Chas. Berkmeyer and is over 69 years old. William Benson Mayo (7 January 1866 - 1 February 1944) was also the chief power engineer for the Ford Motor Company.
The Detroit Aircraft Corporation was originally called the Aircraft Development Corporation when incorporated in 1922. Detroit Aircraft Corporation acquired Mahoney-Ryan in June 1929, renaming it Ryan Aircraft Corporation. Ryan Aircraft Corporation is famous for building Linbergh's Spirit of St. Louis Airplane. The company also owned Lockheed-Vega Aircraft which was acquired in 1929. The Detroit Aircraft Corporation was incorporated in Detroit, Michigan on July 10, 1922, as the Aircraft Development Corporation. The name was changed in 1929. The Detroit corporation owned the entire capital stock of the Ryan Aircraft Corp., Aircraft Development Corp., Aviation Tool Co., Groose Airport, Inc., Marine Aircraft Corp., Park's Air College and Affiliated Companies, Detroit Aircraft Export Co., Gliders, Inc., and Eastman Aircraft Corp. It also owned a 90% interest in the Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Company, practically all of the capital stock of the Lockheed Aircraft Company and a 40% interest in Winton Aviation Engine Co. During the Great Depression the Detroit Aircraft holding company found that rising losses from other operations were draining the company coffers. On October 27, 1931, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation went into receivership. A company with the same name, represented by this certificate, was reincorporated in 1933 to acquire the assets of the old company. Officers Chairman: Edward S. Evans President: C. B. Fritsche Vice-Pres.: E. T. Gushee Treasurer: C. A. Parcells Directors: F. W. Blair, William Benson Mayo, E. T. Gushee, C. A. Parcells, C. W. Harrah, E. W. Lewis, C. S. Mott, Ransom Eli Olds, Ralph Hazlett Upson, R. D. Chapin, P. Ball, H. H. Knight, H. M. Bixby, T. N. Dysart, J. S. Elliott, F. E. Keeler, and B. S. Hunter Subsidiaries Ryan Aircraft Corporation: Incorporated into Detroit Aircraft on July 5, 1929., Ryan Aircraft acquired the assets and business of the Mahoney-Ryan Aircraft Corporation, the successor to Ryan Air Lines. Ryan Aircraft manufactured four and six-place cabin monoplanes at their St. Louis facility, adjacent to the municipal airport. The Detroit Aircraft Corporation owned Ryan Aircraft's entire capital stock. The Aircraft Development Corporation ZMC-2 Aircraft Development Corporation: Incorporated on July 12, 1929, in Michigan to take over and continue development and construction of "metal-clad" airships for commercial, military and naval uses. Company held patents covering design and construction of "Metalclad" rigid airships and airship mooring towers. The first "Metalclad" airship, the ZMC-2, was constructed for the U.S. Navy in 1929. Detroit Aircraft Corp. owned entire capital stock.Edsel Ford, William May and William Stout, invested in the venture in an effort to make Detroit the manufacturing center of the dirigible industry. The Ford name was not closely associated with the ZMC-2 at the insistence of Henry and Edsel Ford, but Ford laboratories, on the property of the newly-completed Ford Airport conducted tests on the ZMC-2 and paid $500,000 for the 225-foot (69 m) dirigible mooring at Ford's airport Aviation Tool, Co. Incorporated in Michigan, June 11, 1929, to take over and continue the development of automatic riveting machines and their application to all types of aircraft. Detroit Aircraft Corp. owned entire capital stock. Grosse Ile Airport, Inc. Incorporated in Michigan, Nov. 15, 1926. Owned and operated an airport on Grosse Ile, an island in the Detroit River. The airport covered 403 acres (1.63 km2) of land and has water approaches on three sides. Contains a circular landing field. 3.000 feet (0.914 m) in diameter, and an airship hangar. Detroit Aircraft Corp. owned entire capital stock. Marine Aircraft Corp. Incorporated in Michigan, June 11, 1929, to specialise exclusively in all-metal amphibian and flying boat construction for commercial and naval uses. Manufactured an all-metal six-place cabin amphibian plane. Detroit Aircraft Corp. owned entire capital stock. Eastman Aircraft Corp. Incorporated in Michigan. Nov. 26, 1928. Manufactured the Sea Rover and Sea Pirate flying boat ranging In price from $7,500 to $10,000. Detroit Aircraft Corp. owned entire capital stock. Blackburn Aircraft Corp. Incorporated in Michigan, May 20, 1929. to acquire design and patent rights on entire line of metal aircraft of Blackburn Airplane & Motor Co., Ltd. of England. DAC controlled 90% with the UK company holding 10% of the stock. Detroit Aircraft Export Co. Incorporated in December 1928 for the purpose of handling export sales in South and Central China. Japan, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Detroit Aircraft Corp. owned entire capital stock. Gliders, Inc. Engaged exclusively in the manufacture of sailplanes. Factory located In Detroit, Detroit Aircraft Corp. owned entire capital stock. Lockheed Orion The Lockheed Aircraft Company of Santa Barbara, California had been a going concern all throughout the 1920s. However, in 1929, the management of Lockheed voted to sell majority share ownership to the Detroit Aircraft Corporation. In July 1929, the Detroit Aircraft Corporation acquired 87 percent of the assets of Lockheed. Lockheed Aircraft Company
William Benson Mayo (7 January 1866 - 1 February 1944) was chief power engineer for the Ford Motor Company. Mayo was born in Chatham, Massachusetts on 7 January 1866 to Andrew Benson and Amanda Nickerson Mayo. He worked initially as a sign painter in Boston, but accepted a position as an office boy for a manufacturer of steam engines, Hooven-Owens-Rentschler. He became a salesman in the Boston office, then was promoted to New York. In 1906 he moved to the corporate office in Hamilton, Ohio as a vice-president, handling the largest sales accounts. In 1913 the company was approached by Ford to provide power generation equipment for Ford's Highland Park, Michigan complex. Mayo became well acquainted with Henry Ford, who hired him to become the chief power engineer. In 1917 Mayo was given primary responsibility for planning and construction of the River Rouge Plant complex. Subsequently he was responsible for the construction of other Ford plants, using hydro-electric power at Green Island, New York and St. Paul, Minnesota. Ford operates a plant in St. Paul and generates hydroelectric power there to this day. In 1919, when Edsel Ford became president of Ford, Mayo became his consultant and advisor. In 1926 he became head of Ford's Aircraft Division, which developed and built the Ford Trimotor; he was also responsible for the construction of Ford's pioneering private airport (now the location of a Ford test track) and the first airport hotel (now the Dearborn Inn). Although sometimes referred to as Ford's chief engineer, his expertise was in power distribution and facility engineering -- he focused primarily on plant, rather than the automotive products. Mayo also served as a director of the Detroit Aircraft Corporation which went into receivership in 1931 during the depression. He elected to retire in 1932. In retirement, he served as an officer of several transportation companies. He died in Detroit on 1 February 1944. History from Wikipedia and OldCompany.com
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