Berntsen, Anton, 1898-1973: Negatives relating the Walsh Brothers' Flying School and farm life at Waipatiki, near Dannevirke

Berntsen, Anton, 1898-1973; Berntsen, Paul, 1946-

Negatives taken by Anton Berntsen who attended the Walsh Brothers' Flying School in 1917/1918 and got his wings in early 1919. The images record his time at the Flying School and also family life and people on Niels Johan Berntsen's farm at Waipatiki, towards the coast from Dannevirke.

The New Zealand Flying School at Kohimarama, Auckland, was established by pioneer New Zealand aviators, Vivian and Leo Walsh; it opened in October 1915. Its purpose was to train New Zealanders as pilots so that they could go on and join the Royal Flying Corps in England. From 1915 to 1919 the school trained 110 pilots. After the war the school struggled as civil air services did not exist at the time. Pilots from the school pioneered air mail delivery, and attempted to survive by providing popular entertainment like joy rides for the public. In 1924 the school was bought by the Government, and the Walsh brothers ceased to be involved in aviation. Seaplanes were used as trainers at the school, the first of which was a Curtis flying boat from the USA. The Walsh brothers subsequently remodelled this, and then began designing and building their own improved flying boats which evolved from their experience with the Curtis. In 1916 they also purchased the first two aircraft produced by Boeing, USA. These were B&W Boeing seaplanes designed by William Boeing and Navy Lt Conrad Westervelt.

Source of descriptive information - Group record and item records use information from prints and photograph albums lent by the donor, and from David Mulagan's book 'Kiwi's first wings" (Wingfield Press, Wellington, 1960)

Source of title - Title supplied by Library

Quantity: 74 b&w original negative(s). 62 photocopy/ies created by Library from prints lent by the donor. 1 photocopy/ies of an album lent by the donor.

Physical Description: Film negatives

Provenance: Donor is son of Anton Berntsen.

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74 b&w original negative(s), 62 photocopy/ies created by Library from prints lent by the donor, 1 photocopy/ies of an album lent by the donor, Photographs, Film negatives
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