Luella Daniels Sawtelle


The Luella Daniels Sawtelle Collection was processed and accessioned in May, 1999. The collection is housed in 2 boxes (one is oversized) and fills 38 folders divided into 19 series arranged primarily chronologically and by type of material. The donor of the collection, Rick Luse, is the nephew of Luella Daniels Sawtelle and brought the collection to IWASM in early 1999, shortly after his aunt’s death.

Most of the material in the collection dates from 1929 through the 1930s when Luella served as a secretary and office manager for Clifford and Phillip Henderson, organizers of the National Air Races during that period. The collection is a fascinating assortment of mementos and memorabilia, with a few official business documents from the Hendersons’ organizations. Luella collected everything from signatures of aviators to National Air Race bumper stickers to post-event banquet programs; there is also a large collection of photographs, primarily from the 1930 Chicago Air Race. Other items of interest include news clippings from the 1936 Air Races in Los Angeles, and various press releases and handbills printed on official stationery.

Artifacts that were accessioned with the papers include pins and badges from the National Air Races, several Thompson Trophy Race calendars from the late 1930s through the 1947, an original Charles Hubbell painting of a Gee Bee 4, and an autographed 1936 letter to Clifford Henderson from Amelia Earhart. The latter two artifacts are on extended loan from the donor. See accession numbers 1999.21.1B through 1999.21.94.

Taken as a whole, the Luella Daniels Sawtelle collection provides detailed documentation of some aspects of the publicity and organizational machinery behind the National Air Races and some of the related events produced by the Hendersons.

There are no restrictions on the use of these materials.


“LUELLA DANIELS SAWTELLE MS-007,” International Women's Air & Space Museum, accessed November 29, 2022,

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