Aviation Ancestry is a free to use database of British and selected Non-British aviation industry Advertisements from 1909-1990. Each advert is reproduced as a low-res image with a record of the source and date of original publication. Only items derived from the Aviation Ancestry collection of original publications are included.
Hi-Res copies of individual images are normally available free of charge on request with no restrictions on use.
Searching the database
There are three ways to find the adverts you're looking for.
2. The Directory
3. A - Z Company Listings
Compared to modern "smart" database searches such as Google or Bing the Aviation Ancestry search function simply looks for character matches in the Company name and Description Fields of the database. For Broad searches single keywords such as "Bristol" "Lightning" or "Avionics" for example will normally guarantee a match.
Multiple keywords will reduce the chances of a direct match. This is best illustrated by an example. Let's say you want to find an ad for the "Avro Avian Mark 2" Avro or Avro Avian will bring up the ads, but you may have to scroll a bit to find it. Adding the Mark 2 increases your chances of a "Nothing Found" as variants can be expressed in many ways e.g. [Mark Two] [Mk2] MK 2] [Mk II] etc etc. Remember only exact character matches work.
In practice you'll soon work out how to find what you want - but bracketing the "search years" from the default 1909-1990 to say.. 1932-1934 might save you a lot of scrolling.
In summary KEEP SEARCHES SIMPLE - SINGLE or DOUBLE keywords with Year Periods bracketed work best. Additional punctuation, periods, spaces, plurals etc reduce the chances of a match. ... and it won`t answer questions like "What engines did the Wellington use"... and finally check for typos ... Vickers Vicount for example.
2. The Classified Directory
The Directory Index splits the database topics into a number of the most commonly used categories. Selecting a category will take you to a dedicated page containing expanded listings of companies specialising in that area with ready made "Search Links" to save your time. You may need to bracket the years to save scrolling, but this only takes seconds.
You may need to explore a bit as many companies produced multiple products attributable to different categories.
This is regularly reviewed so regular visitors may need to refresh their browsers to see updates.
3. A-Z Company Listings
As the name suggests this is an A-Z of company listings with ready made search links for you to follow. This section is updated at irregular intervals so may not always contain a totally comprehensive set of listings.
If none of these methods work for you please ask. Visit the contact page and send an email with your query.
If you're interested in a particular marque or manufacturer you may find it more convenient to study the advertising timeline at your leisure in book form.
Aviation Ancestry has produced a series of Company Themed compilations featuring their advertising output as images annotated with publication reference data.
New titles are being added at regular intervals.