The National Model Aviation Museum frequently receives
calls inquiring about what it needs. One of the gaps in the
museum’s collection is AMA membership cards (referred to as
“licenses” at times).
AMA (functioning under the National Aeronautic
Association) kicked off a nationwide membership campaign
in 1937, with an announcement running in the June 23, 1937,
issue of Model Aviation. By the September 1939 issue of the
magazine, AMA was already redesigning its membership cards.
The 1940 cards would be “two shades of blue” and “feature
the AMA emblem, which was designed by Frank Zaic.”
Unfortunately, the museum does not have a copy of that card
from 1940 in its archives. It does have at least one example (if
not duplicates) of cards from the following years: 1942-1946,
1950-1951, 1955-1962, 1964-1967, 1969-1970, and 1973-
Do you have any AMA membership cards from the years
that are not listed here? If you do and would like to donate
them to the museum archives, give the museum a call or send
a message. AMA would like to add them to its collection. They
are not only fun to look at, but also help document AMA’s
history so that it can be preserved and shared with current and
future model aviation enthusiasts.
Pictured with this article are some of the more elegant and
fun cards that AMA has produced. To see more membership
cards, check out an upcoming museum blog post online at
—National Model Aviation Museum staff
Card 1: 1956 card, 20-year anniversary (#0032 O.C. Stewart Collection).
Card 2: 1960 card (#0032 O.C. Stewart Collection).
Card 3: 1966 card, 30-year anniversary (#0032 O.C. Stewart Collection).
Card 4: 1979 card (#0032 O.C. Stewart Collection).
Card 5: 1986 card, 50-year anniversary (#0032 O.C. Stewart Collection).
Card 6: 1942 card for gas modelers (#0161 Robert Sheridan Collection).
Card 7: c. 2008 “gold” card, AMA Life Membership (AMA, Object ID 2008.05.128).
Card 8: 2006 card, 70th anniversary (#0001 AMA Collection).
Card 9: 1978 card (#0001 AMA Collection).
Card 10: 1995 card (#0001 AMA Collection).
Card 11: 2003 card (#0001 AMA Collection).
Card 12: 2013 card, Park Pilot Program (#0001 AMA Collection).
Card 13: 2013 card, Youth membership (#0001 AMA Collection).
13 Model Aviation APRIL 2017 www.ModelAviation.com