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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Mayfield, William Preston, 1896-1974



  • Existence: 1896-1974

William Preston Mayfield (1896-1974) was an aviation and aerial photographer. He is credited with being the first person to take an aerial photograph from a heavier-than-air machine.

Born in Lexington, Kentucky, he became a photographer for the Dayton Daily News at the age of fourteen. In 1910 he was invited by Orville Wright to fly in a Wright flyer. While in flight he leaned over the edge of the aircraft and snapped a photograph of Wright's hangar from the air, making the first photograph ever taken from a plane. He would go on to document many other aviation "firsts." He continued to work for the next six decades as a news and commercial photographer in the Dayton, Ohio area.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

William Preston Mayfield Wright Brothers Photograph Album

Identifier: 2018-10-01-C
Abstract Personal album of aviation photographer William Preston Mayfield wtih 50 silver gelatin prints relating to Wilbur and Orville Wright.

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