John Joseph Montgomery
John Joseph Montgomery (February 15, 1858 – October 31, 1911) was an American inventor, physicist, engineer, and professor at Santa Clara College in Santa Clara, California who is best known for his invention of controlled heavier-than-air flying machines.
In the 1880s Montgomery, a native of Yuba City, California made manned flight experiments in a series of gliders in the United States in Otay Mesa near San Diego, California. Although not publicized in the 1880s, these early flights were first described by Montgomery as part of a lecture delivered at the International Conference on Aerial Navigation at Chicago, 1893. These independent advances came after flights by European pioneers such as George Cayley's coachman in England (1853) and Jean-Marie Le Bris in France (1856). While Montgomery himself never claimed firsts, his flight experiments of the 1880s are considered by some historians and organizations to have been the first controlled flights of a heavier-than-air flying machine in America, or in the Western Hemisphere depending on source.
Montgomery devised different control mechanisms for his gliders including weight shifting for roll and an elevator for pitch (1884), and subsequent designs incorporated hinged, pilot-operated trailing edge flaps on the wings (1885-1886) for roll control, leading to full wing warping systems for roll (1903-1905) and full wing warping systems for both pitch and roll (1911).
- 1 Ornithology
- 2 Fixed-wing gliders
- 3 Aerodynamics
- 4 Invention
- 5 Tandem-wing gliders
- 6 Evergreen
- 7 Organizational memberships
- 8 Gallant Journey
- 9 Recognition
- 10 See also
- 11 Publications
- 12 Patents
- 13 References
- 14 Biographies
- 15 External links
In the early 1880s Montgomery began studying the anatomy of a variety of large soaring birds to determine their basic characteristics (i.e., wing area, total weight, curved surfaces). He made detailed observation of birds in flight, especially large soaring birds such as eagles, hawks, vultures and the American pelicans who soared on thermals near San Diego Bay.
He initially attempted to achieve manned flight through ornithopters. In 1883, he built and experimented with a series of three ornithopters but found that human strength was insufficient to generate the necessary lift. Later that year he abandoned flapping-wing flight, preferring instead to emulate soaring birds through fixed-wing craft. He reasoned that it would be possible to solve the physics of gliding and soaring flight and then add motive power at a later time.
Montgomery's concepts for the design, construction, and control of a series of gliders were initially tested through small scale free-flight models. His first glider was built in 1883-84 and had a cambered airfoil based on the curve of the seagull wing. Pitch was controlled by an operable elevator with roll being controlled using pilot weight shift. Yaw was left unaddressed. This basic aircraft design served as the basis for three gliders over the period 1883-1886. In the spring of 1884, Montgomery made flights of up to 600 feet (180 m) from the rim of Otay Mesa. During his experiments with this craft, Montgomery found that the glider would not respond well to side gusts. He returned to ornithology and noted how turkey vultures in the area had significant dihedral and twisted their wings as a form of lateral balance.
Mimicking these control systems, in 1884-1885 he incorporated hinged flaps into the trailing edge of a second glider. These were held under spring tension for automatic balance in gusts, but were also connected through cables to the pilot’s seat so that they could be operated mechanically by the pilot for roll control. In essence these flaps were very early ailerons. The second glider had a flat plate airfoil, considerable dihedral for stability and an operable elevator for pitch control. In order to more easily attain proper launching speed, a new inclined rail system with a trigger release was invented such that the glider and pilot could roll from the top of a hill, attain speed and then flight.
In the winter of 1885-86, Montgomery constructed a third glider. This glider once again adopted a cambered airfoil modeled after the wings of a vulture: however the leading and trailing edges were turned upward slightly. The glider also had a "gull" shaped wing when looking at head on. New controls allowed the pilot to vary the angle of incidence of the left and right wing either in unison or independently. Dihedral and an operable elevator were also included. Montgomery concluded that a better understanding of aerodynamics was needed for the design of a proper airfoil.
Montgomery stated in a subsequent speech in 1893 that flights were made in these three craft during the period 1884-1886, with the occasional assistance of at least three friends and two younger brothers who later provided primary witness accounts either in affidavits or through testimony in a Federal court case Of the flight trials with the second craft (of 1885) Octave Chanute's secondary account in 1893 noted "several trials were made, but no effective lift could be obtained." Of the third craft (of 1886) Chanute wrote "this last apparatus proved an entire failure, as no effective lifting effect could be obtained from the wind sufficient to carry the 180 lbs. it was designed to bear."
Montgomery's own account made clear he considered the technology employed in the second and third gliders (of 1885, and 1886, respectively) as effective but the airfoil designs were a disappointment in terms of lift- generation as they produced much shorter gliding flights in comparison to the first craft of 1884. They could only accomplish short gliding flights he realized he was getting increasingly further and further away from an effective understanding of the mechanism of lift and so he turned his attention to an investigation of airfoils through controlled laboratory experiments. When, in the summer of 1886 Montgomery heard about Israel Lancaster's talk on soaring flight at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Montgomery briefly considered filing a caveat on the lateral balancing technology at the U.S. Patent office. After hearing of the results of a visit to the patent office by his brother James, he decided not to do so.
Beginning in about 1885, and in parallel with his gliding experiments, Montgomery entered into a long series of controlled experiments using a whirling arm device, a smoke chamber, water current table, as well as large wooden surfaces placed at angled into the prevailing wind in order to understand the physics of flow around curved surfaces. Birds wings were also dried in their extended form and placed in wind currents to observe the effect. His work in the 1880s confirmed that mechanical systems used by a pilot could preserve lateral balance and some degree of equilibrium in gliding flight. His controlled investigations confirmed the value of a cambered surface for obtaining lift.
In 1893 Montgomery visited the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, intending initially to attend a lecture by electrical expert Nikola Tesla. Upon arrival, he heard of the planned International Conference on Aerial Navigation to take place during the first week of August. He introduced himself to Octave Chanute and Albert F. Zahm, who were collaborating in chairing the conference. Although he had not applied for entrance into the conference, nor did he present a paper, Montgomery listened to other lectures was subsequently invited by Chanute and Zahm to participate in the conference by giving two lectures of his own. Montgomery's first lecture focused on his series of controlled laboratory experiments with surfaces in currents of air and water. This was revised into an article and included in the conference proceedings, under the title "Discussions on the Various Papers on Soaring Flight". This article was later published in the July, 1894 edition of Aeronautics. With encouragement from Chanute, Montgomery's decided to discuss his early machines and experiments in a second lecture. Although he refrained from giving enough detail that might be useful to designers, he did discuss use of hinged wing sections for lateral control. Unlike the first lecture, Montgomery's second lecture was not published as part of the conference proceedings as Chanute thought that Montgomery wanted to seek patent protection on the technology. Instead, within his article series of flying machine progress, Chanute presented his own comments on Montgomery's early flight experiments in his article series Progress in Flying Machines which was published serially in the American Engineer and Railroad Journal in 1893, and in the following year as a book of the same name. Montgomery reprised his second lecture in a talk given to the Aeronautical Society of New York in 1910, and its contents were published in several journals and books subsequent to that 1910 lecture.
After the conference, Montgomery sought to refine his understanding of the physics of flow over a wing and the generation of lift. In 1893 through 1895 while teaching at Mt. St. Joseph's College in Rohnerville, California, he entered into a phase of extensive investigations regarding surfaces in air and water currents using a water current table and smoke chamber (a crude wind tunnel). As a result of these investigations, he developed a theory of lift based on vorticity or what modern aerodynamicists refer to as a "circulation theory" or "lifting-line theory". In the winter of 1894-1895, Montgomery compiled his investigations into a 131 page manuscript entitled Soaring Flight and attempted to have it published by Matthias N. Forney and the editors of Scientific American with the help of Octave Chanute. Chanute however was reluctant to endorse it due to his disagreements with some of its theoretical content, suggesting that it be edited in order to distinguish between experimental results versus theoretical inferences. The manuscript was rejected by Scientific American in the period, but they later published an abstract based on its content. Chanute also directed one of his collaborators Augustus Herring to seek out the manuscript as he considered it instructive in understanding "ground effect."
In 1884, Montgomery received a patent for a process to vulcanize and de-vulcanize India rubber. During 1895 and again in the period 1901 through 1904, Montgomery occasionally supplemented his aeronautical research with development in other branches of science including electricity, communication, astronomy, and mining. In 1895 he received four patents (American, German, British, and Canadian) for improvements in the burning efficiency of petroleum burning furnaces (hot blast furnace). In 1897, he took a teaching position at Santa Clara College, and together with Father Richard Bell, directed their study into wireless telegraphy, being the first to successfully transmit messages from Santa Clara College to San Francisco. Montgomery also patented two gold concentrator devices to assist miners in extracting gold from beach sands (see patent list).
In early 1903, veteran balloonist Thomas Baldwin sought out Montgomery's knowledge of aeronautics. During this period Baldwin had also been assisting August Greth in constructing and experimenting with an airship (dubbed the California Eagle) at San Jose, California. Baldwin was in search of improved propeller designs for dirigibles. Baldwin stopped working with Greth and came to Santa Clara College for an extended period specifically to learn aeronautics from Montgomery. Together they tested propeller designs through wind tunnel tests on the campus of Santa Clara College. During this period, and at Baldwin's suggestion, Baldwin and Montgomery entered into a business arrangement to provide public exhibitions with manned Montgomery gliders launched at high altitudes from unmanned Baldwin balloons. This contract was solidified by April, 1904. By late May 1904, a Montgomery glider was completed with test flights made by Montgomery. However, Baldwin abandoned their collaboration and instead constructed his own airship (the California Arrow) at San Jose incorporating Montgomery’s propeller design and a 7-horsepower motorcycle engine (the Hercules of G.H. Curtiss Mfg Co.). The California Arrow would be first in America to make repeated circuits under control. During a protracted period of acrimony between Montgomery and Baldwin, Baldwin entered the California Arrow in the aeronautic competition at the St. Louis World’s Fair in November, 1904 and took first place.
In the fall of 1904 Montgomery conducted tests of his tandem-wing glider designed called the Montgomery Aeroplane with associates Frank Hamilton and Daniel J. Maloney. On March 16, 17 and 20th 1905, Daniel Maloney made several successful flights with the glider at Leonard's ranch (Rancho San Antonio, now known as Seascape) Aptos, California having released from hot-air balloon at high altitudes. The resulting glides were in perfect control, with flights lasting up to 13 minutes. News of these flights received attention in both the US and Europe. After this success, Montgomery gave a press conference to provide for the first time, a history of his efforts in aeronautics, announcing a patent application had been filed for his aeroplane. On April 29, 1905, Montgomery, Maloney, and Hamilton provided a public demonstration of the Montgomery Aeroplane (rechristened that day as The Santa Clara in honor of Santa Clara College). Maloney released from a balloon at an approximate altitude of 4,000 feet above Santa Clara College for hundreds of spectators and representative of the press. Maloney carried out a series of pre-determined maneuvers concluding with a soft landing near the college grounds. This exhibition brought widespread recognition for Montgomery and was generally accepted as a milestone in aviation at the time and thereafter. Montgomery and Maloney made many exhibitions in the Bay area with The Santa Clara however on July 18, 1905, aeronaut Maloney was killed when a rope from the balloon damaged the glider during the ascension, causing the glider to have structural failure after release.
Following the Great Quake of 1906, Montgomery’s gliding experiments were curtailed until 1911. He married Regina Cleary in 1910. Montgomery began experimenting with a novel control system where all of the control (pitch and roll) was in the wing via warping. The entire tail assembly was completely fixed. Montgomery intended to add a motor and also apply for a patent. This glider called The Evergreen (named after the region where flight tests occurred on the hillsides east of San Jose, California), was flown by Montgomery as well as another aeronaut Reinhardt for over 50 flights in October 1911. Tragically on October 31, 1911, Montgomery was landing at low altitude and low speed and encountered turbulence strong enough cause a tip stall. Montgomery died at the site due to his injuries in the resulting crash. This hillside (now known as "Montgomery Hill") is just behind Evergreen Valley College. John J. Montgomery was buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Colma, California on November 3, 1911.
- The Pacific Aero Club (1909), founding member.
- The Aero Club of Illinois (1910).
- The Aeronautical Society of New York (1910), elected honorary member "in recognition of his manifold labors to advance the art of aviation."
- The Aeronautical Society (1911), as invited member of the Research Committee of the Technical Board and Organization and Convention Committee.
- The Santa Clara Valley Aero Club (1911), first Vice President.
In 1946, Columbia Pictures released a full-length movie titled Gallant Journey based on John J. Montgomery's life and work. The film was directed by William A. Wellman, and starred Glenn Ford, Janet Blair and Charles Ruggles. The stunt pilots for the film were Paul Mantz, Paul Tuntland and Don Stevens. The film included several different historical reenactments of Montgomery’s glider flights. Gallant Journey premiered in San Diego, California on September 2, 1946 and had its full national release September 24, 1946. As part of the publicity for the movie, Columbia Pictures sponsored a cross-country Boston to Los Angeles tour featuring a 1911 vintage auto, the same vintage as Montgomery’s last flight. William Wellman had served previously in the U.S. Army Air Corps and was stationed as an officer at Rockwell Field, San Diego, California and Glenn Ford had also served in San Diego during World War II.
Two California Historical Landmarks are associated with Montgomery:
- Montgomery Memorial, Otay Mesa. The Montgomery Memorial was dedicated on May 21, 1950 and features a silver static test wing panel for the Consolidated B-32 Dominator mounted upright that is visible for miles. It is also associated with a recreation center near the location of his first glides (Montgomery-Waller Recreation Center, San Diego, California).
- Montgomery Hill, San Jose near Evergreen Valley College. Evergreen Valley College also honors his memory with a green space (Montgomery Grove), a lecture hall (Montgomery Hall), and an observatory (Montgomery Hill Observatory). On March 15, 2008, a sculpture was unveiled at San Felipe and Yerba Buena roads in San Jose, California as a tribute to Montgomery. The 30-foot-tall steel structure of a glider wing was placed on a 32-foot-diameter plaza (later designated Montgomery Plaza) designed by San Francisco artist Kent Roberts.
Airports and aviation clubs
In 1919, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors changed the name of the Marina Flying Field just east of Crissy Field to "Montgomery Field." From 1920 to 1944 Montgomery Field served as an airmail facility. This field still exists along the Embarcadero as Marina Green.
Civil Air Patrol Squadron 36 in San Jose, California is named the "John J. Montgomery Memorial Cadet Squadron 36" in his honor. Their motto is "Exceed the Challenge." Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 338 in San Jose, California is also named in honor of Montgomery.
- Chula Vista Elementary School District
- John J. Montgomery Elementary School, Chula Vista, California
- Evergreen Elementary School District
- John J. Montgomery Elementary School, San Jose, California
- San Diego Unified School District
- Montgomery Middle School, San Diego, California
- Sweetwater Union High School District
In 1924, a new engineering building was dedicated as the Montgomery Laboratories on the campus of Santa Clara University. This lab was located where Mayer Theatre is today. A celebration was held March 18, 1934 at Santa Clara University to mark the 50th anniversary of Montgomery's first glider flight. Also on the campus of Santa Clara University, an obelisk was dedicated by the citizens of Santa Clara, California to Montgomery on April 29, 1946 at the location of Maloney's 1905 glider flights.
In 1949, a section of the Interstate 5 freeway that passes through the former site of the Montgomery 1880s Fruitland Ranch and goes from the Mexican border to downtown San Diego, California was named the John J. Montgomery Freeway.
In the 1960s, the National Society of Aerospace Professionals and the San Diego Aerospace Museum established a John J. Montgomery Award for aerospace excellence. Members of the X-15, Mercury, and Polaris programs received the award including astronauts such as Neil A. Armstrong.
On March 19, 2005, John J. Montgomery was the focus of a Centennial Celebration of Soaring Flight, held in Aptos, California at the location of some of his early glider experiments. At this celebration, a marker was placed in Aptos in honor of the first high altitude flights by man.
- Montgomery, John J. Discussions on the Various Papers on Soaring Flight Proceedings of the International Conference on Aerial Navigation, Chicago, Aug. 1-4. 1893 pp. 246–249.
- Montgomery, John J. Soaring Flight, manuscript, 1895.
- Montgomery, John J. The Mechanics Involved in a Bird's Wing in Soaring and Their Relation to Aeronautics, Address to the Southern California Academy of Sciences, Los Angeles, Nov. 9, 1897.
- Montgomery, John J. The Aeroplane, The Aeroplane Advertising Co., Santa Clara, CA, 1905.
- Montgomery, John J. New Principles in Aerial Flight, Scientific American, November 25, 1905.
- Montgomery, John J. Principles Involved in the Formation of Winged Surfaces and the Phenomenon of Soaring, presented at the Aeronautics Congress, New York, Oct. 28-29, 1907. Published in Aeronautics Vol. 3, No. 5, November, 1908.
- Montgomery, John J. Some Early Gliding Experiments in America, Aeronautics, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1909, pp. 47–50.
- Montgomery, John J. The Origin of Wing Warping: Professor Montgomery's Experiments, Aeronautics (London), Vol. 3, No. 6, 1910, pp. 63–64.
- Montgomery, John J. Our Tutors in the Art of Flying, Aeronautics, September 22, 1915, pp. 99–100 (article printed posthumously).
- U.S. Patent 0,308,189 - Devulcanizing and restoring vulcanized rubber - 1884 November 18
- U.S. Patent 0,549,679 - Petroleum burner - 1895 November 12
- British Patent 21477 - Petroleum burner and furnace - 1895 November 12
- German Patent 88977 - Petroleum oven - 1895 November 12
- Canadian Patent 50585 - Petroleum burner - 1895 November 14
- Canadian Patent 70319 - Concentrator - 1901 February 19
- U.S. Patent 0,679,155 - Concentrator - 1901 July 23
- U.S. Patent 0,742,889 - Concentrator - 1903 November 3
- U.S. Patent 0,831,173 - Aeroplane - 1906 September 18
- U.S. Patent 0,974,171 - Rectifying electric currents - 1910 November 1
- U.S. Patent 0,974,415 - Process for compelling electric motors to keep in step with the waves or impulses of the current driving them, and a motor embodying the process - 1910 November 1
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- Peyrey, François (1909). Les Oiseaux Artificiels. Paris, France: Derlis Fréres.
- "An American Pioneer of Soaring Flight: John J. Montgomery". Aviation 4 (1): 302–303. 1918.
- Walker, Thomas (1910). The Art of Flying. London, England: King, Sell & Olding.
- Turner, Charles C. (1910). Aerial Navigation of To-day: A Popular Account of the Evolution of Aeronautics. London, England: Seeley & Co.
- Colwell, J.H. (1920). "The Origin and Development of Aeronautics". Journal of the Patent Office Society 3: 12.
- Hunt, Rockwell D. (1932). "John J. Montgomery". California and Californians 3 (126): 27.
- The Montgomery Evergreen Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
- Montgomery, John J. (21 April 1910). The Origin of Wing Warping (Speech). Aeronautic Society of New York.(Aeronautics 1910)
- Harwood, Craig; Fogel, Gary (2012). Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press.
- Berriman, Algernon E. Aviation. An Introduction to the Elements of Flight, Methuen & Co., London, 1912. pp. 213-214.
- "Montgomery's Gliding Experiments", in Hayward, Charles B. Practical Aeronautics: An Understandable Presentation of Interesting and Essential Facts in Aeronautical Science.' Chicago: American School of Correspondence, 1912.
- Zahm, Albert F. (1923) “Catholic Contributions in the Field of Aeronautics” in Benson, William Shepherd, James J. Walsh, Edward J. Hanna, and Constantine E. McGuire. Catholic Builders of the Nation: A Symposium on the Catholic Contribution to the Civilization of the United States. Boston: Continental Press.
- Pritchard, J.L. The Book of the Aeroplane, Longmans, Green and Co., 1926, p.17.
- The Journal of San Diego History, July 1968, Vol. 14, No. 3.
- National Cyclopedia of American Biography: Being the History of the United States as Illustrated in the Lives of the Founders, Builders, & Defenders of the Republic, etc…, Edited by Distinguished Biographers, James T. White & Co. Volume XVI, 1916.
- Lawrence, John (1929). The Book of The Aeroplane. The University of Michigan: Longmans Green & Company.
- Mark D. Ardema and Joseph Mach, Santa Clara University School of Engineering, and William J. Adams, Jr., "John Joseph Montgomery, 1883 Glider: An International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark, Designated by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, May 11, 1996, at Hiller Aircraft Museum and Santa Clara University" (brochure, 11 pp.)
- "Montgomery First to Conquer the Air: Austrian Officials after Inquiry Give Palm to California Inventor," San Francisco Examiner, May 16, 1909. See also "Conquering the Air," San Francisco Monitor, June 12, 1909.
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- McCormick, Barnes (2004). Aerospace Engineering Education During the First Century of Flight. Reston, VA: American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
- L'Écho Des Ailes: Revue Indépendante pour la Défense des Intérêts Aéronautiques, Vol. 17, No. 2, January 23, 1948. By Fédération des Clubs Belges d'Aviation de Tourisme, Brussels, Belgium.
- "Flug-Revue" (“Flight Review”), 1968, Vereinigte Motor-Verlage, p. 155.
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- Historie de L’Aeronautique et de L’Espace, 2001.
- Davy, Maurice J.B. (1935) Aeronautics, Science Museum.
- "Professor Montgomery's Experiments". Aeronautics (London) 3 (6): 73, 111. 1910.
- "Machine with Wings Upsets Theories," "Years of Research Applied to Solving the Problem," San Jose Mercury Evening News, March 31, 1905.
- "Third Tests Are All Successful," San Francisco Bulletin, March 26, 1905.
- Montgomery, John J. (1909). "Some Early Gliding Experiments In America". Aeronautics (New York) 4 (1).
- Hayward, Charles B. (ed.) (1912) Practical Aeronautics, American School of Correspondence, Chicago.(Introduction written by Orville Wright)
- Aeronautics 1910.
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- Campi, Richard B. (1961) "Description and Analysis of the 1911 Montgomery Controllable Man Carrying Glider." Working paper, December 29, 1961.
- Montgomery, John (1910). "Our Tutors in the Art of Flying". Aeronautics (London) (published posthumously): 99–100.
- Kavanagh, Dennis K. (1905). The Aeroplane. Santa Clara, California: The Aeroplane Advertising Company.
- Montgomery, James P., direct testimony in response to Q. 16, Jan. 13, 1919, Regina C. Montgomery et al. v. the United States - Equity No. 33852.
- Montgomery, Richard J. Direct Testimony in Court (Equity No. 33852) on January 13, 1919.
- United States. n.d. Court of Claims of the United States. No. 33852. Regina Cleary Montgomery, heir, and Richard J. Montgomery, Mary C. Montgomery, Margaret H. Montgomery, and Jane E. Montgomery, assignees of Ellen Montgomery heir of John J. Montgomery, deceased, v. the United States.” Testimony provided in direct and cross examination by Charles T. Couts, Charles Burroughs, James P. Montgomery, Richard J. Montgomery, Mary F. McCarthy, January 1919.”
- Chanute, Octave. (1893) Progress in Flying Machines, The American Engineer and Railroad Journal, Dec 1893.
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- Montgomery, John J. (1894) “Discussion of the Various Papers on Soaring Flight,” Aeronautics Vol. 1, No. 10, pp. 127-128, July.
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- “A Home School – What is Taught at Mt. St. Joseph’s College,” The Daily Standard, Eureka, CA, December 31, 1894.
- "John J. Montgomery Manuscript "Soaring Flight"". Flickr. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
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- Chanute, Octave (July 15, 1895). "Montgomery publication" (Letter to John Montgomery).
- Chanute, Octave (March 17, 1895). "Ground effect" (Letter to August Herring).
- "Local scientists invent a new system of wireless telegraphy," San Francisco Call, March 6, 1904.
- "Montgomery Seeks to Restrain Baldwin and Seeks Damages". San Jose Evening News (San Francisco, CA). April 7, 1905.
- "Airship Inventor Visits San Jose: Captain Baldwin, Builder of the California Arrow, Talks of His Plans and Future of Aerial Navigation". San Jose Daily Mercury (San Jose, CA). December 5, 1904.
- Baldwin, Thomas. New York World Magazine, November 27, 1904
- "Father Bell and Captain Baldwin: Priest-Scientist of Santa Clara College Gives Credit for Success of Aerial Experiments to Professor Montgomery". San Jose Daily Mercury (San Jose, CA). December 6, 1904.
- "Aeronauts Row Over Airship". San Francisco Call (San Francisco, CA). April 8, 1905.
- "Careful Research of Several Years Assured Success". San Francisco Bulletin (San Francisco, CA). March 26, 1905.
- "Inventor of New Airship Has Trouble with Baldwin". San Jose Mercury (San Francisco, CA). April 7, 1905.
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- Glenn H. Curtiss and Augustus Post, The Curtiss Aviation Book (New York: Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1912), 30.
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- John J. Montgomery, letter to Octave Chanute, April 11, 1905 in Arthur Spearman, S J, John Joseph Montgomery Father of Basic Flying, Univ. of Santa Clara, 1967 pp. 92-94
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- "Cornell University". The Cornell Engineer (Cornell Engineer Inc.): 9. 1935.
- Johnson, Kenneth M. (1961) Aerial California: An Account of Early Flight in Northern and Southern California, 1849 to World War I, Dawson's Book Shop, Los Angeles, California.
- Copy of membership card can be found in the John J. Montgomery Papers 1885-1947, The Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
- "Montgomery Hits Wright's Patent: California College Professor Claims He Invented Warped Wings Back in 1885," New York World, April 24, 1910.
- John J. Montgomery Papers 1885-1947, The Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
- "Club News". Aircraft (July): 159. 1911.
- Gibson, Ada (1910). "Club News". Aircraft (July): 191.
- "Club News". Aeronautics 8 (3): 110. 1911.
- Neil Doyle (24 September 1946). "Gallant Journey (1946)". IMDb. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- Dwiggins, Don (1967)Hollywood Pilot: The Biography of Paul Mantz, Doubleday and Co., Inc., Garden City, NY
- "Retakes of Flying History". Popular Science (August). 1946.
- #711: Montgomery Memorial, Otay Mesa(32.577449 -117.052631)
- Wilson, Bob (1994). "Starting the Montgomery Monument". San Diego Aerospace Museum Newsletter (Spring).
- "First Glider Tower Takes Initial Flight," San Diego Union May 21, 1950.
- Montgomery-Waller Recreation Center, San Diego, California
- #813: Montgomery Hill, San Jose)(37.302289 -121.758084)
- Pizarro: Evergreen artwork honors valley's pioneer of flight - San Jose Mercury News at www.mercurynews.com
- City and County of San Francisco, Board of Supervisors, Municipal Record 12, no. 1 (1919), pg 394
- John J. Montgomery Elementary School, Chula Vista, California
- "Evergreen School District: Search Results". eesd.org. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- Montgomery Middle School, San Diego, California
- Montgomery High School, San Diego, California
- Montgomery Middle School, San Diego, California
- "Page Not Found". soaringmuseum.org. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "California Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees". Museum of Flying. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Santa Clara University School of Engineering - Campus Changes". scu.edu. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "Tribute to 'Father of Flying' Planned by Bay Region," San Francisco Chronicle March 11, 1934.
- "John J Montgomery Obelisk - Santa Clara, CA - Obelisks on Waymarking.com". waymarking.com. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- Rhodes, W.T. (1951). "Montgomery Freeway Will Relieve Traffic in South San Diego". California Highways. Jan.-Feb.: 34–35.
- "US 101 Photo Gallery". gbcnet.com. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- "First High Altitude Aeroplane Flights March 1905 - Aptos, CA - E Clampus Vitus Historical Markers on Waymarking.com". waymarking.com. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
- Spearman, Arthur Dunning John J. Montgomery: Father of Basic Flying. Santa Clara University 1967 and 2nd ed. 1977.
- Harwood, Craig S. and Fogel, Gary B. Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West. University of Oklahoma Press 2012.
- John J. Montgomery Collection, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California.
- John J. Montgomery Personal Papers, San Diego Air and Space Museum, San Diego, California.
- John J. Montgomery Papers 1885-1947, The Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina Library, Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
- John J. Montgomery: San Diego Historical Society
- John J. Montgomery: Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum
- Biography with photos at flyingmachines.org
- John J. Montgomery: Santa Clara College
- History of John J. Montgomery's flights at Rohnerville
- That Magnificent Man With His Flying Machine