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Good afternoon from Congers, NY and thanks for looking.
This is a pair of Art Deco metal "The Thompson
Trophy"bookends. They are made of metal and are marked on the front
"The Thompson Trophy". The Thompson Trophy race was one of the National Air Races during early airplane racing in the 1930s. The trophy was designed by Walter Sinz and is now at the National Air & Space Museum. Please see the information below from a website I found. They each measure about 7 3/4" tall by 4 1/2" wide. They are in very good condition with no dings or dents. There is some green enamel paint loss on one of the bookends that you can
see in the photos.For US buyers, shipping will be in a USPS Priority MailLarge Flat Rate Box.
For international buyers, there is a $5 handling cost in addition to shipping
due to the increased time and paperwork involved. Shipping will be in a USPS Priority Mail International Large Flat Rate Box. Insurance included.
We combine shipping costs when possible without jeopardizing the safety of your items. Questions are welcome. Thanks
for your offers.
THE THOMPSON TROPHY STORY
By Bill Meixner
Early in the summer of 1929, Cleveland buzzed with excitement
about the National Air Races scheduled to come to town. Mr. Lee Clegg of Thompson Products
was approached by a volunteer worker of the National Air Races to ask if Thompson Products
Co. would provide a trophy for one of the many races being held for the first time in
Cleveland. Clegg and Ray Livingstone looked over the list of races needing a trophy and
discovered that, for whatever reason, no other company chose to provide a trophy for the
International Land Plane Free-For-All.
major success of the 1929 races in Cleveland, including Doug Davis winning the cup in a
civilian Travel Air, Livingstone and Clegg suggested to Charles E. Thompson that a
sanction be obtained from the National Aeronautic Association to establish a permanent
Thompson Trophy and this was done.
A deed of gift for the Charles E. Thompson Trophy was drawn up
along with a set of flexible rules to apply to the race. Mr. Thompson felt most trophies,
were very poor and incorrect from a standpoint of art. Fred Witt wrote a remarkable
description of the symbolism and inspiration the company felt the trophy should
Unanimously, five judges chose a design submitted by Walter A. Sinz, of Cleveland, as the most appropriate. This work
was excellent in workmanship and rich in idealism and significance. The trophy was fashioned of bronze,
mounted on a black marblebase. It represented Icarus, the first man
to fly, according to Greek mythology, with wings spread, facing skyward, symbolizing man's ever-constant desire to fly. A tapered cliff rises behind Icarus, suggesting man's
progress in conquering the air throughout the centuries. In bas relief about the cliff are sculptured epochal
milestones in man's attainment of great speeds. Above the cliff are billowy clouds,perched eagles, and a
rising sun; and surmounting all is the high-speed airplane that won the last years Thompson Trophy Race.
(Note: this was done for two years and than was discontinued). Names of the winning pilots were to be engraved on
the ten shields mounted beneath the
According to the terms of the deed of gift, the trophy was to
be in competition for at least ten years, after which it could be retired or continued at
the discretion of the National Aeronautic Association. It was to be awarded annually to
the foreign nation, department of government service, organization or chapter of the
National Aeronautic Association represented by the winning pilot, (a plan never
actually followed) to be properly exhibited until one month prior to the date it is next
competed for. He also posted an endowment fund with the National Aeronautic Association,
interest on which will be used to annually purchase gold, silver and bronzeplaques
of the trophy, to be awarded to the first three pilots in the race. Upon the trophy
being retired, this fund would revert to the National Aeronautic Association for the use
as that organization saw fit in the promotion of aeronautics.
Walter Sinz later prepared two ten-foot models of the trophy to be used at various sites to promote the
Mr. Thompson expressed the wish that the prize money for the
event also be consistent with its importance, with other awards made in similar
circumstances, and in keeping with the ideas of the National Aeronautic Association. To
carry out this intention, Mr. Thompson volunteered an amount, equal to the sum posted by
the Chicago Air Race Corporation for the first flying year of the race. This body
appropriated $5,000 and Mr. Thompson contributed a like amount, bringing the total prize
money to $10,000, more than had ever been posted for an air speed contest.
The Thompson was an unlimited race in that there were no physical
restrictions placed on the airplane as to engine size, number of engines, etc., although a
qualifying speed had to be met. Later a restriction was included that said no women were
allowed to enter.
Several days before the 1939 Thompson Trophy, Hitler’s
troops marched into Poland and World War II started. Also the deed of gift from Charles
Thompson expired and no one could foresee the resumption of the National Air Races.