Welcome! The History Center is requesting that all visitors continue to wear masks inside the Tompkins Center for History & Culture. Our visitors include young audiences and others who are unable to be vaccinated. We appreciate your respect and awareness in following our Health & Safety Protocols to keep all our visitors safe.
LEARN WITH TOMMY!
The Tommy Plane is the first thing that catches any visitors eye in our Exhibit Hall. This original Thomas Morse Scout S-4B, production no.191 was first built in Ithaca by the Thomas Morse Aircraft Corporation in 1918. One of only a few hundred that were manufactured, and for a time were used to train every WWI pilot.
Tommy is on permanent loan to the museum from the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation (IAHF), who spent 14 years, and untold number of hours restoring the plane. Our Tommy is currently the only Thomas Morse Scout restored to full flight capacity anywhere in the world.
In addition to being a 100+ year old working machine, the story of Tommy can help students learn about the history of Tompkins County, New York State, and the growth in industry and aviation across the country.
History at Home Activity Set - All About Tommy
- All About Tommy - 1pg
- Write Your Own Silent Film Storyboard - 3pg
- Create Your Own Paper Airplane - 3pg
- Learn about Tommy on HistoryForge - 3pg
- Create Your Own Junk Plane - 2pg
VIDEOS ABOUT TOMMY!
Students can learn about the history of Tompkins County with the Old Time Flight Instructor through our five-part Learning to Fly with Tommy video series. Videos run from 6-11 minutes long and cover a range of aviation related topics. Use the PopQuiz questions for each episode.
You can also find videos about the history of aviation in New York State, and news reports from Tommy's restoration and flight on our Tommy Plane YouTube Playlist and our Tommy Plane Collection on Vimeo. Both playlists include content created by The History Center in Tompkins County, the Ithaca Aviation Heritage Foundation and other community partners.