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Karl Ort sells real airplane propellers for $1.98

1931 Karl Ort ad Photo (Collections of S. H. Smith)

When Karl Ort died in 1990, his York based aviation supply business was believed to be the oldest in existence; having been established in 1929. A 1931 Karl Ort ad showcases two of his 1000 airplane propellers being sold for only $1.98 each.

In aviation circles Yorker Karl Ort was widely known as the dean of aviation merchandising. Early on, besides aviation related merchandise, he specialized in purchasing large quantities of surplus WWI era aviation parts and supplies from both the government and industry. His purchase of a thousand new, although obsolete, WWI era real OX5 airplane propellers was offered to his customers at only $1.98 each. He suggested, “Mount a clock in the center! Hang them in the den! Put them over the fire place!” Karl Ort’s decades of accumulating surplus aviation parts, many times proved to be the only source for individuals and museums restoring vintage airplanes.

This ad is one of several Karl Ort items I’ve purchased on eBay. I thought the photo in the ad was neat.

OX5 propeller details and the Full Ad Text

OX5 airplane propellers were made of wood. They were over 8-feet long and were of laminated oak construction. These propellers were most likely intended for use on the famous Curtiss JN4C (“Jenny”) biplane using the OX5 engine. The OX5 engine was replaced with the Hisso engine in the later models of the “Jenny.”

Here is the full text accompanying the 1931 ad photo at the beginning of this post:

1931 Karl Ort ad Text (Collections of S. H. Smith)

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