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85/112 Philatelic covers (21), letters (5), envelopes (2) & photographs (24), relating to early Australian aviation, paper, various makers, Australia, 1934-1962. Click to enlarge.

Collection of philatelic covers, letters and photographs relating to early Australian aviation history

Made
The EA & VI Crome collection consists of some 20,000 items of postage stamps featuring airmail and space philately plus a large number of envelopes flown and posted back to Mr Crome. Many are signed by the pilots or astronauts.

Ernest Alfred Crome (1902-1987) worked his way up from office boy to manager of the Newtown & Enmore Starr Bowkett Co-operative Building Society. In the 1920s when aviation at nearby Mascot Airport was in its infancy he gave envelopes to pilots to sign and post back to him seeing them as 'miniature log books' of these early experimental flights. It was not until 1939 that he married his wife, Virtie, who continued to encourage him in his hobby.

Ernie Crome went on to form one of the first 'aerophilatelic' collections and may be considered as the joint father of Australian aerophilately, Nelson Eustis (of airmail catalogue fame) being the other. Ernie sold his first collection to the National Library in Canberra in 1965 ('the Crome collection') but soon began to build another. He had made his first donation to the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences in 1949 so it was logical for him to continue and 'The EA & VI Crome collection' is made up of a large purchase in 1981 plus many other donations.

The particular strength of Ernie's collection is early Australian aviation from 1910 to 1939. It contains many envelopes posted back to him from private fliers as well as the more famous. Two large selections trace the flights of CTP Ulm and PG Taylor and the Catalina 'Frigate Bird II' was donated by Taylor to the Museum in 1962 at Ernie's instigation. Ernie had been friendly with Taylor since the latter's heroic exploit when he climbed onto the wing of the 'Southern Cross' in 1935 and transferred oil from one engine to the other to save the plane. Much of the airmail carried on that flight was jettisoned but Ernie Crome managed to collect some of the few which survived!

Ernie Crome also saw the space age as a logical development from aviation and he continued to collect space stamps and covers. He was also a noted collector of music, in particular the violin, and he also donated to the Museum in this field.

Summary

Object No.

85/112

Object Statement

Philatelic covers (21), letters (5), envelopes (2) & photographs (24), relating to early Australian aviation, paper, various makers, Australia, 1934-1962

Physical Description

Philatelic covers, letters with envelopes, and photographs relating to early Australian aviation. The covers were carried on flights completed by Charles Kingsford Smith and P G Taylor in the aircrafts "Southern Cross", "Lady Southern Cross" and "Faith in Australia". There are also covers carried on the flying boat "Guba". The covers are stamped and postmarked and are signed by Kingsford Smith, Taylor and their associates.

The letters and envelopes relate to the acquisition of the flying boat Frigate Bird II by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences. The letters are written by the Museum Director J L Willis, E A Crome, P G Taylor and NSW Premier R J Heffron.

The black and white photographs are of various aircraft and the men who flew them. The aircraft include the Southern Cross, Lady Southern Cross, Faith in Australia and the flying boats Guba and Frigate Bird II. The aviators pictured include Charles Kingsford Smith, P G Taylor, Charles Ulm, G U Allan and Jack Percival. Some of the photographs are signed by those who flew the aircraft.

Production

Made

Notes

The covers, letters, envelopes and photographs have various makers. They were made in Australia between 1934 and 1962.

History

Notes

See parts for history details.

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Mr & Mrs E A & V I Crome, 1985

Acquisition Date

24 January 1985

Cite this Object

Harvard

Collection of philatelic covers, letters and photographs relating to early Australian aviation history 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 21 April 2021, <https://ma.as/23864>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/23864 |title=Collection of philatelic covers, letters and photographs relating to early Australian aviation history |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=21 April 2021 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}