Skip to main content

Archives at The Museum of Flight

Odell Family Collection

Identifier: 2009-05-18
The Odell Family Collection primarily consists of items used during World War I by Lieutenant James H. Odell of the Royal Flying Corps Canada.

The collection includes three (3) field message books that include drawings of planes, observations, laundry lists and other assorted notes. The field books are in fragile condition, with loose pages and covers, and should not be handled. They also have severe stains, possibly from smoke and/or water.

There are also two (2) pieces of ephemera: a gas defence card and a booklet titled "Fullerphone Notes and Diagrams" with James H. Odell's name inside the front cover. The Fullerphone was a portable telegraph signaling device used in the British army during both World Wars.

There are also five (5) black-and-white photographs, circa 1920s-1930s. Four (4) of the images have stamps or captions on the reverse reading "Property of Ralph Brown;" the relationship between Ralph Brown and the Odells is unknown. One (1) image is a shot of Ralph Brown standing on the wing of a Douglas A-17A. Additional images include a signed portrait of Eddie Rickenbacker and a collage of Shell Petroleum aircraft and pilots James H. Doolittle and James G. Haizlip, each of whom has signed the collage.


  • circa 1910s to 1930s


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 half-width letter size document box)


The Odell Family Collection primarily consists of field message books and printed ephemera used during World War I by Lieutenant James H. Odell of the Royal Flying Corps Canada. There is also a small amount of photographs featuring aircraft of the 1920s-1930s.

Biographical Note: James H. Odell

James H. Odell served in the Royal Flying Corps Canada during World War I. Lieutenant Odell served as an artillery spotter during the war.

No further information is known.


Biography derived from collection materials.

Custodial History

This collection was donated to The Museum of Flight by the son and grandson of James H. Odell. Per donor information, the original owners were William Odell, James H. Odell, and Ralph Brown. The relationship between Ralph Brown and the Odells is unknown.


No further accruals are expected.

Separated Materials

The following items were separated from the archival component and are kept in Object storage:
  • Three (3) World War II-era silk maps
  • One (1) piece of World War I aircraft fabric
  • Leather flying helmet used by Lt. James H. Odell
  • Artillery spotter cards
Guide to the Odell Family Collection
Completed - Level 4
L. Zaborowski, J. Parent
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 2018: This finding aid was revised to reflect updated DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
  • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
Contact us with a research request