AKA Walther von Mumm von Schwarzenstein, Walther von Mumm

You can see the full size photo,
as well as several others,
by clicking on the link.

Contributed by Pete Jones, 9-25-10
Hi Ralph,
      From what I'm able to find out on him , he was born January 13 1887 as Walther von Mumm von Schwarzenstein, Frankfurt Germany and died August 10 1959 Goppingen Germany. Came from wealthy wine merchant family, Mumm. Was a sportsman taking part in horseriding and ballooning. No doubt wealthy family connections allowed him to become involved in aviation and he trained on the Antoinette machines. He earned French license #58 on April 19 1910. He was of German birth but learned to fly on a French designed plane, the Antoinette.
      His later life is colorful one of adventure, love affairs, married life. He had at least one daughter over whom he became involved in a custody fight. When the WW1 started he showed his feelings for his birth country Germany, (though he also was raised in France), which cost him his vast estate when the war ended. He further lost much of his fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and tried to commit suicide in 1931. In the 1920s de Mumm participated in Bobsledding. More can be found on some great links following:


(earns pilots license April 19 1910)

[Champagne| Berceau de l'aviation du Monde]
(photo of him, Antoinette and caricature of him in checkered cap)

____________NEWSPAPER ARTICLES_______________________

(New York Times; December 14 1912)
TOOK PART IN BALLOON RACE; De Mumm Figured in Moving Picture Group of Whom Seven Are Dead.

(New York Times; May 8 1913)
WALTER DE MUMM TO MARRY; Sportsman Who Figured in Paris Shooting..
. //

(New York Times; June 4 1913)
WALTER DE MUMM MARRIED; His Bride, Miss Scoville, Given Away by Her Brother-in-Law.

(New York Times; May 6 1920 ; Obituary of de Mumms wife)
Obituary 2

(New York Times; May 18 1920)
JEWEL SEIZURE LAID TO BARON DE MUMM; German Reported Trying to Hold in France Gems Taken from Mme. Treadwell. WOMAN CLAIMS OWNERSHIP American Sister-in-Law of Baron Was Coming Here with Her Sister's Body

(New York Tims; September 27 1913)
BARON DE MUMM WINS CUSTODY OF DAUGHTER; Child Loses Her American Citizenship and Becomes a German Baroness

Grande Semaine d'Aviation
From the book CONTACT by Henry Serrano Villard
     The ability of pilots for find their way around the landscape had so improved that it was possible to think of an open race from one town to another. Such a contest was announced in France for June 6, 1910, as the culminating event of another "Grande Semaine d'Aviation." The course was between Angers and Saumur in the department of Rochefort-sur-Loire; the distance was 43 km; and entrants numbered nine.
     The Angers-Saumur race was conceived by an early aeronaut and pioneer experimenter in powered flight, Robert Marie Jules René Gasnier (born 1874)--who with his brother Píerre formed an inventive fraternal team like the Wrights, Farmans, Voisins, and Telliers. Beginning in 1905, René Gasnier, an imposing man with a luxuriant black beard, had made balloon ascensions in various parts of Europe and the United States. Then, in 1908, the Gasnier brothers--tested a homemade aeroplane. With René in the pilot's seat, Píerre lay in the grass to observe whether the wheels of their pusher biplane, employing an Antoinette 50-hp motor, left the ground.
     Before his death in 1913, René not only staged the Angers-Saumur contest but two years later promoted the much more challenging Circuit of Anjou. Píerre, who became a pioneer civilian and military aviator, lives today at the family seat near Angers; in 1950 he was given the rank of commander in the Legion of Honor, for his services to French aviation. A monument to René overlooks the picturesque site along the river Loire where his first trials were conducted.
     At the start of the Anger-Saumur race, vagaries of the wind caused a long delay. More than two hundred thousand impatient spectators had gathered to witness the event. The Loire was jammed with boats, and the road with automobiles; pretty Red Cross nurses had taken up strategic stations to render first aid to anyone tumbling out of the blue. The trinational entry list of pilots and their machines read as follows; Emile Aubrun (Blériot), André Crochon (Henry Farman), Captain Bertram Dickson (Henry Farman), Georges Legagneux (Sommer), Robert Martinet (Henry Farman), the German Walter de Mumm (Antoinette), and Marcel Paillette (Sommer). Most of these flyers had received their pilots certificates only recently; their temerity in signing up for such a risky excursion led to cries of protest from the local press.
You can read the rest of this fascinating story,
as well as many others which can be found in the book.
From CONTACT by Henry Serrano Villard

Robert Martinet's Farman
(3 Juliet 1910)
8. Martinet sur biplan Farman
(July 3, 1910)
8. Martinet in his Farman

Collection of Giovanni Giorgetti, 12-2-05

Allard's Voisin
Collection of Reg Winstone, 5-8-04

     If you search for "Walther von Mumm +aviation "using Google, (8-25-10), you will find about 10 links.
Walter de Mumm ( ) Allemagne & France.
Les Maisons de champagne Mécènes du sport aéronautique du Monde
     This page offers a brief biography, in Frence, and four beautiful photographs. You can access the website by clicking on the title above.
     If time permits, even if you don't read French, I am sure you will enjoy visiting many of the other entries on this wonderful website.

Baron Walther von Mumm
     If you need a biography in English, this is a good place to start. You can access the website by clicking on the title above.


The Story of the Early Birds
Man's first decade of flight from Kitty Hawk to World War I
Henry Serrano Villard

Foreward by S. PAUL JOHNSTON
Director, National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian Institution
     In today's age of space probes and moon rockets, it is hard to believe that the aeroplane is scarcely sixty years old. Here Henry Serrano Villard, who knew many of the pioneer pilots and flew in their "bits of stick and string,"re-creates the romantic era when man first dared the miracle of flight. His anecdotal account, illustrated with 125 photographs--many from his personal album--covers the decade and a half of aeronautical history from the Wright brothers' exploits at Kitty Hawk to the outbreak of World War I.
Editor's Note:
     I had the pleasure of knowing Henry for several years before his death. I found him to be a delightful companion and a remarkable source of information on the entire field of aviation. I can recommend his book, without hesitation, as an essential resource for anyone interested in the history of early aviation.

Walter de Mumm died August 10 1959 in Goppingen Germany.

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on any of these pioneer aviators,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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