American Aerial Navigation Company
American Aerial Navigation Company was founded, probably principally by Thomas C. Benbow, possibly around 1902, possibly in Montana.
One source, probably from the Billings, MT Gazette:
- [Benbow's] invention was a big gasbag, propelled by a motor and directed by rudders . . . [with] power and wings . . .
- As early as 1901 "Chalk" Benbow started work on a model to incorporate his dream. Financing . . . was a major issue, and . . . he sacrificed his farm homestead on the Stillwater near Absarokee for this project. A year later, however, he had interested friends sufficiently that the American Aerial Navigation Co. was organized with a capital stock of $30,000 naming Pat Lavelle, Columbus, pres. and Geo. Pierson of Red Lodge, secretary-treasurer. $5,000 worth of stock was sold, which permitted Benbow to go east where he joined hands with Prof. Carl Myers, the acknowledged balloon expert in America (and the builder of all balloons used by the government) to develop his airship. So successful were their efforts that on October 28, 1903 at Frankport, New York, a practical and satisfactory flight was made that received nation wide acclaim.
This book/page from New Jersey refers to a company by this name too: 
|Names||American Aerial Navigation Company, American Aerial Navigation|
|City||New Jersey; Montana|
|Key people||Thomas C. Benbow, Patrick Lavelle, George Pierson|