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Benjamin Thomas Epps papers

Benjamin Thomas Epps papers

Descriptive Summary

Title: Benjamin Thomas Epps papers
Creator: Epps, Ben, 1888-1937
Creator: Epps, Ben, 1916-2001
Inclusive Dates: 1904-2015
Bulk Dates: 1904-1937
Language(s): English
Extent: 6.25 Linear Feet 10 boxes, 1 oversize folder
Collection Number: ms3074
Repository: Hargrett Library

Collection Description

Historical Note

Ben Epps, Georgia's pioneer aviator, was born in 1888. He grew up in Oconee County, was educated in Clarke County, and attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta. In Athens, Georgia he started an electrical contracting shop, which he later converted into an auto garage. He built and flew his first plane in 1907, only a few years after the Wright Brothers' successful flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In the following years he built seven more planes including the Epps Lightplane. Later he established Epps Field where he taught flying, carried passengers on short trips, and gave exhibitions. He died in a plane crash in 1937. Ben Epps, Jr. was born in 1916. He first flew a plane solo at the age of 13 making him the nation's youngest aviator at the time. He served as a flight instructor during WWII and later during the war flew a supply route from India into China. After the Air Corps, Ben Epps, Jr. was a pilot for Southern Airways. He built a replica of his father's 1912 monoplane, which he flew to air shows around the country. In addition to his father, Ben Epps, Jr. has been inducted into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame. He died in 2001.

Scope and Content

The collection consists of many folders of loose material including clippings, letters, drawings of Epps planes, writings, and photographs. Of particular note are several good aerial views of Athens and the University of Georgia (circa 1920-1930s). Also of interest are several pages of reminiscences by Ben Epps, Jr., in which he writes about his early life and flying. Additional material received in 2002 includes flight manuals, membership cards, transcripts of interviews, etc. The most important item in this collection is a scrapbook (1904-1963) which documents Epps' life as a builder and flyer of airplanes. Included are over 200 photographs, as well as some clippings and letters. A few photographs, etc. can be found here of other pilots, planes, and Epps' children who were also flyers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Benjamin Thomas Epps papers, ms3074, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Aerial photographs.
Aeronautics -- Georgia -- Athens -- History.
Air pilots -- Georgia -- Athens.
Air pilots, Military -- United States.
Airplanes -- Georgia -- Athens -- History.
Assembly drawings.
Athens (Ga.) -- Photographs.
Clippings (information artifacts)
Epps, Ben, 1888-1937 -- Correspondence
Magazines (periodicals).

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

12Drawings of Ben Epps Airplanes
13Letters, receipts, 1904-1990
15Photographs, Aerial views of Athens and University of Georgia
16Photographs, Aerial views unidentified
17Photographs, Ben Epps, Epps Family members & others
18Photographs, Epps monoplane
18aPhotographs, Epps (Ben) plane crash, 1937
19Printed material
110Speech by Ben Epps Jr.
112Writings - Reminiscences of Ben Epps Jr.
31Personal items
32Ledger - Epps Aircraft Service
33Pilots operating manual C-46, C46a, C46-D, R5C1
34Route manual (Southern Airways)
35Pilots operating manual (Southern Airways) M-404
36Pilots training questionaire (Southern Airways) M-404
37FAA Academy Flight Training Maneuvers
41DC-9 Annunciator panel manual (Southern Airways)
42Training manual (Southern Airways) DC-9
43Operations manual (Southern Airways)
51Pilots operating manual (Southern Airways) DC-9
52Crew flight manual (Southern Airways)
53Ben Epps project, Interviews, 2001
54Ben Epps project, Scrapbook copies, 2001
55Ben Epps project, CD, disc, 2001
61Printed material, Beechcraft propellers
62Printed material, Southern Pilot Newsletter
63Printed material, The Tin Goose
64Printed materials
71Photographs, Epps 1910 monoplane
72Photographs, Epps 1911 monoplane replica
73Photographs, Epps 1912 monoplane replica
74Photographs, Ben T. Epps, Sr. and Ben Epps, Jr. in an Epps automobile, 1920
75Photographs, Epps 1925 light plane
76Photographs, Epps 1930 biplane
77Photographs with descriptions, 1927-1931
78Photographs, Ben Epps, Jr., 1929-c. 1990
79Photographs, Ben T. Epps, Sr. and a Curtiss JN-4
710Eugene B. Ely - biography and photographs
711Photographs, Aerial views of an unidentified location
712Photograph, Eastern Airlines 25th Anniversary, 1928
713Photograph, Bootleggers, 1931
714Troyer Boats plane parts advertisements, 1932, 1938
715Photographs, Airplanes
716Photographs, Aeronca C3
717Photograph, First transatlantic balloon flight commemorative photograph
718Negatives, 1951
719Negatives from photo album
720Negatives, undated
721Registration - Culver Lea 365 aircraft, 1953
722Commemorative airplane prints
723Correspondence, Ben T. Epps, Sr., 1909-1937
724Correspondence, Percy Rolfe - Ben T. Epps, Sr., 1921-1924
725Correspondence, Ben T. Epps, Sr., Undated
726Epps 1920 monoplane recreation plans
727Epps 1930 biplane recreation - printed materials and photographs
728Photographs, airplane construction, 1968
729Photographs, Johnston Aircraft Corporation
730Photographs, Automobiles
731-33Airforce papers, Ben Epps, Jr., 1944-1957
734Photographs, Douglas, GA Airforce training, Ben Epps, Jr., 1943
735Photographs, post-war Japan
736Southern Airways professional papers, Ben Epps, Jr., 1956-1969
737Southern Airways professional papers, Ben Epps, Jr., 1970-1976
738Southern Airways pilot strike newspaper clippings, 1960
739Epps Air Service plane theft - report and photographs, 1977
740FFA airman file, Ben Epps, Jr.
741Line drawings of Ben T. Epps, Sr. planes
742Application to the Army Air Corps, Ben Epps, Jr., 1939
743-45Correspondence, Ben Epps, Jr., 1944-2001
746Correspondence, Bill Rodenberg - Ben Epps, Jr., 1986
747Correspondence, Ben Epps, Jr.
748Correspondence, Epps Family, 1931-2002
749Model airplane contest - printed material and photograph, 1957
750Athens High School class of 1933 50th reunion book, 1983
75163rd AAF-FTD Douglas, GA 40 year reunion contact book, 1984
752OX5 Club - printed material, 1957-1962
753Athens-Ben Epps Airport Dedication - printed material and photographs, 1987
754Program - 47th Annual Hump Pilots Association Reunion, 1992
755Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame Induction, Ben Epps, Jr., 1994
756Ben T. Epps Restorations - bill and photographs, 2000
757Press clippings, Ben Epps, Jr., 1952-1991, undated
758Certificates, Ben Epps, Jr., 1933-1999
759Memorials, Ben Epps, Jr., 2001
81-2Personal notes and stories, Ben Epps, Jr., 1965-1999
83Press clippings, Ben T. Epps, Sr. , 1926
84Press clippings, Pat Epps, 1990-2004
85Short stories by Buddy Epps
86Photographs, Epps Family
87Personal Items, Epps Family
88 Pat's World, Volume 1 , 2015 May 28
9Handbooks and flight log books, 1932-1992
1Newspaper clippings, 1945-1995