Rex Smith * 1910-11
Rex Smith * 1910-11
Rex Smith in a Rex Smith Aeroplane, 1910-11
via email from Todd Smith, 11-13-07

Good Day Ralph,
     I tracked this down. My Great-Uncle Justin had this and donated it to the museum. Justin was one of Rexford M. Smith's Great-Grandsons. I now see why Rex hired pilots, he is no spring chicken in 1911. That blonde hair may be going grey. My grand-father, Rexford Chapman Smith Sr. may have been alive when this picture was taken.
     I remember seeing pictures of Rex M.'s son Addison with a shiny silver WWII era small plane. My father Rex C. Jr., had his private pilot's license from about 1973 - 1980. My flight experience is limited to holding the stick while Dad checked the map. Flying by instruments is all you can do when your 3 foot 4 inches tall.
     Thanks for your work preserving the history of aviation. Below is a link to the museum's web-site.

The College Park Aviation Museum


     Frank Kastory, (April 11, 1883-----), now a Florida citrus grower between tornadoes, was educated in Budapest and became a tool and diemaker and well-informed on internal combustion engines.
     In 1911 he left behind his troubles with the Anzani and went to work for Rex Smith at College Park, Washington, where he taught himself to fly the Smith machine with the 100 h.p. Emerson two-cycle engine. The Fox company, also of Wshington, then engaged him as technical adviser and test pilot for their Curtiss-type with Fox two-cycle engine. At that time the Fox and the Christmas machines were in the same hangar at College Park which made the Chief Signal Officer had made available to civilian enterprises. Lieutenants Arnold, Kirtland and Milling were flying here at the time.
from CHIRP, APRIL 1, 1950 - NUMBER 43
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir

     If you search for "Rexford Smith" +aviation, using the Google search engine, (11-13-07), you will find about 30 links. Among the most helpful are the following.

  Antony Jannus  
  Tony Jannus at the controls of the Rex Smith biplane,
Potomac Park, Washington, D.C., 1911
Photo Courtesy of the Florida Aviation Historical Society.

     This page on the website of the College Park Aviation Museum offers a brief story of Rex and his company. In addition, it mentions two of his test pilots, Paul Peck and Tony Jannus. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
     If time permits, I heartily recommend that you take advantage of the many other feature on the site. They include: Events Calendar, Inside the Museum, History of College Park Airport, Tours and Educational Programs, Fun With Aviation, and much more. You can access the homepage by clicking on:
College Park Museum

     You will find an entry for the Rex Smith Aeroplane Co. on the AEROFILES website. You can access the page by clicking on the title above. You may want to use the "FIND" function on Rex to locate the entry on the page.

Contributed by Pete Jones, 7-30-10
     You will find photos of his headstone and the cemetery on this page of the Find A Grave website. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

Rexford Smith died on April 24, 1923. He was 55 years old.

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

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