History’s milestones are commemorated in the most unusual ways. Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean is a prime example. Seemingly, no sooner had Lindy touched down at Le Bourget Airport than vendors were selling coins, pins, photos, models, and jewelry – along with anything else you can possibly imagine – to mark the historic flight. There are more than 250 of these souvenirs in the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection.
The most recent addition came to us earlier this summer. This ceramic crème de menthe decanter is in the form of a surprisingly detailed model of the Spirit of St. Louis. It was the third in a series commemorating “Famous Firsts” in aviation. (Other decanters included Wiley Post’s Winnie Mae, and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules military transport plane.) Produced 45 years after the flight, the bottle speaks to the lasting significance of – and popular interest in – Lindbergh’s feat.
Matt Anderson, Objects Curator