C.A. Seward

1884 - 1939

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By the early 1930s Wichita, Kansas was promoted as the “Air Capitol of the  World.” For indeed, it was just that.  Local businessmen had worked hard to attract the entrepreneurs of the developing aviation industry and thus Wichita became home base. Now Wichita is synonymous with names like Cessna, Beech, Boeing and Lear and these now large international corporations had their beginning in Wichita in the 1920s and 30s and were very much a part of C.A. Seward’s professional career.

Seward’s early images of the birds and ducks he had observed at the salt marshes near his childhood home near Chase, Kansas, surely informed his commercial pieces for the aviation industry. 

A commission for a Christmas Gift was an etching of the Steaman Company’s bi-plane.  275 copies of this etching were created and then the plate was destroyed.  The lithograph of aviator, Charles Lindbergh was made as the centerpiece of a promotional edition of the Wichita Eagle commemorating Lindbergh visit to Wichita in 19

There are many resources for the history of aviation on the web.  Below are a few examples:

1920 - E.M. Laird   DESIGNER OF "SWALLOW"

E. M. Laird of Boca Raton, Florida, one of the pioneer pilots and designer of many aircraft, stopped at the Harold Warp Pioneer Village on his way to a national meeting of "The Early Bird Flyers Reunion" being held in Denver.

     In 1910 Mr. Laird saw his first airplane -- A Wright Brothers -- near Chicago. Even though he was working days as a clerk in the 1st National Bank downtown, all his spare time and thoughts were directed toward flying. From 1915 till World War I he "barnstormed" the midwest to encourage cities to create airports and publicize flying. During World War I he was a civilian flying instructor until he had an accident and was hospitalized for nine months. During this convalescence in 1918, he designed the first airplane to be sold in the commercial market. Laird Swallow Manufacturing Company was formed in Wichita, Kansas, and the first "Swallow" was built and flown in 1920. For three years he ran this company and sold out to other interests so he could devote his time to developing designs for other airplanes which developed into "Airmail" as well as forming the nucleus for our present day airlines. His airplanes won the 1st Thompson Air Race in 1930 and Jimmy Doolittle won the Bendix Race in one of his airplanes. He continued to manufacture sub assemblies for aircraft through World War II and then he retired. Source for this information - http://earlyaviators.com/elaird.htm


Stearman Airplane



Seward - Aviation - Laird Swallow, Stearman

Images on this page (top to bottom, left to right): Seward lithograph - Blackbirds, Seward illustrations for Charles Lindberg Day, Swallow Airplane and Stearman company.  Right hand column are Seward prints of geese and ducks - Three Geese,1929, Canada Goose, 1926, Two Geese, 1925, Lone Goose, 1937 & Early Visitors, 1937.