Leader Board Ad

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Famous Found Photo...but who? (Updated)

Yes! It is Howard Hughes. There are other posts that I have updated when an answer was found, but this one has become much more interesting thanks to the help of "Scott" (a frequent visitor to a favorite site - see bits and pieces in the favorite links to the left)  He was able to find an image that is so close in time to the one below. Here is the image he found:

Now, Compare it with this photo that popped out of a photo equipment catalog I found at a sale over the summer. The really amazing thing is this not only confirms it is HH, but they  are uncannily similar - I believe these photos (that came from opposite ends of the internet) were taken maybe only seconds apart. Take a look at the front and back and then I will tell you what I know of the photographer.
Howard Hughes 1938

Well, first, I apologize in advance to the estate of Rudy Arnold if such exists. I know that the Smithsonian has a large collection of  this well known 20th century photographer's images.
From the Smthsonian Air & Space Division:

"Rudy Arnold (1902-1966) was an accomplished airman and photographed many of the major news stories of the 1920's and 1930's. He shot much of his material at New York City's Floyd Bennett Field where many of the great early long distance air races started and finished."

My image is confirmed to be from Rudy Arnold, but the image from a cooperative Flicker account owner (Click here to see more images of HH) is from an as yet unidentified photographer. If we knew the photographer, we would be able to confirm (almost) that the photos were taken at the same time (theorizing that Rudy Arnold couldn't have shot both images simultaneous).

Take one more look at a comparison of the 2 images:

The exposure difference aside (my fault) look at HH's arms, expression, position, jacket and in my image you can just see the curved rivets from the door.  Here is the caption from the image on the left:

4 Jul 1938, New York, New York, USA --- Howard Hughes, millionaire aviator and film producer, is pictured above with four members of his crew after he landed his twin-motored Lockheed 14 Super Electra at Floyd Bennett Field here. At the end of a leisurely flight from Wichita, Kansas, he made the trip in the unofficial time of 7 hours and 15 minutes. Preparations were made immediately for a hop to Paris and a probable flight around the world. Left to right above are Lt. Tom Thurlow, designer of a new type drift indicator for use over water; Harry Connor, navigator; Howard Hughes; Richard Stoddart, builder of the plane's elaborate transmitter for voice and code; and Dale Power, assistant flight engineer. The last member of the crew, Glenn Odekirk, flight engineer is not shown.

There you have it. Thanks again to the help I got from people I've never met, but would like to.


  1. Going with the others' guesses, I found this photo that must have been taken at nearly the same moment. Same pose, hat, double-breasted jacket with handkerchief in pocket and no tie, in front of an aircraft at Bennett Field. Apparently this was just days before his around the world flight.


    1. Thank you, Scott! I wish I had your patience and skill for research. I looked for an hour and couldn't come up with anything better than a close profile so I could only just confirm that it was Howard Hughes. I knew it likely was him, but you found what I needed - the details. You clearly nailed it. It's 1938, He has just completed a likely record speed flight and while the photographer was gathering group shots of his R&D team he snapped single portraits of the man, and that is what I have. When I can get permission you will see the flicker image posted here.

  2. I also found this one. Looks like whatever was in his pocket is missing. Maybe he turned to see who sneezed in your picture and offered them his hanky before this shot. Or maybe he just stuffed it in his pants pocket.



Found something unique? See something here you want to know more about? Start the discussion - I'll respond. Really!