Author, columnist, essayist and historical consultant, Curt Dalton has devoted his life’s work to the preservation and celebration of Dayton’s rich history. His dedication to the city and its notable figures, places, and events is exemplified by his prolific career and more than 20 books illustrating the life of Dayton. Early on Curt was regarded as a model student for the city of New Lebanon when the Rotary Club chose him for the foreign exchange student program in Brazil. He went as a representative of not only the Dayton area but also as a young ambassador of the U.S education system and culture. Curt’s professional career as a Dayton historian began with the publication of his first two books and featured columns in the Dayton Business Journal and Vincent Brothers Review. During the city’s 1996 Centennial Celebration, his books were selected as official publications of the celebration. In 1998, Curt began his work with Dayton History, the Dayton and Montgomery County Historical Society. As the Visual Resource Manager, he takes care of the organization’s 1.5 million photographs, negatives, and motion picture films. 2002 became an award-winning year for Curt’s work! His essay,” The Closet,” won first place in the Erma Bombeck Writing Competition, which draws hundreds of writers from around the world. The Emmy award-winning PBS documentary, “When Dayton Went to War,” used his book, Home Sweet Home Front, as a primary resource. He is credited in the film as both historical consultant and program consultant. Curt’s philanthropic endeavors took root in 2004 with the launch of Dayton History Books Online. The website provides free access to unique materials concerning Dayton’s cultural and social heritage for students, teachers, and researchers to use for educational purposes. Today, the online resource includes 643 books, booklets, and articles, consisting of over 14,500 pages of text. The site averages over 3,500 hits each day and has been visited more than 8 million times!

Curt expanded his charitable work when he began collaborating with Children’s Historical Publishing. The non-profit organization is dedicated to uplifting children, especially at-risk youth, through reading learning-activity books. They have published nearly 20 books and donated over 350,000 to children. Curt has contributed as a researcher and historical consultant on several of their publications. In 2008, Curt swept in during the 11th hour to help save one of downtown’s most grand buildings, the Dayton Arcade. He wrote the book, Dayton Arcade: Crown Jewel of the Gem City, with all proceeds going towards restoration of this glorious structure. Curt has served on the boards of the Dayton Canoe Club and American Veterans Heritage Center. He acts as the resident historian for the Engineers Club.

This Dayton Original has authored the following books.

  • Breweries of Dayton: An Illustrated History 1995
  • Dayton Canoe Club: An Illustrated History 1996
  • The Terrible Resurrection 1997
  • Keeping the Secret: The WAVES and NCR 1997
  • Greater Dayton Drive-In theaters: An Illustrated History 1998
  • When Dayton Went to the Movies: A History of Motion Picture Theaters in Dayton 1999
  • Home Sweet Home Front: Dayton During WWII 2000
  • Delicious Recipes and Food for Thought From the NCR Archive 2000
  • How Ohio Helped Invent the World: From the Airplane to the Yo-Yo 2001
  • Through Flood, Through Fire: Personal Stories From Survivors of the Dayton Flood of 1913 2001
  • Mr. Wulff’s Eagle-Powered Balloon – and Other Aviation Ideas from the U.S. Patent Office 2003
  • Dayton Inventions: Fact and Fiction 2003
  • Spilt Blood: When Murder Walked the Streets of Dayton 2004
  • Good for What Ails You: Dayton’s Golden Age of Patent Medicines 2005
  • Dayton, Ohio (Postcard History) 2006
  • A Taste of Frigidaire 2006
  • A is for America: The Life and Lyrics of Dayton Music Man Ray L. Deerwester 2007
  • Miami Valley’s Marvelous Motor Cars: From the Apple-Eight to the Xenia Cycle Car 1886-1960 2007
  • The Dayton Arcade: Crown Jewel of the Gem City 2008
  • Curt Dalton’s Gem City Jewels 2009
  • Curt Dalton’s Gem City Jewels II 2010
  • The Mother Home: A History of the Dayton Soldier’s Home in 3-D 2012

Curt has consulted on these Children’s Historical Publishing titles.

  • Dayton Inventors and Inventions, Volume 2 2004
  • Dayton People, Places and Things Volume 1, Second Edition 2004
  • Awesome Americans: Charles Kettering 2007
  • Paul Laurence Dunbar: Traits of Success 2007
  • The Amazing Arts of Dayton 2009
  • The Curve Ball – The History of Negro Baseball Leagues
  • Haki and the Rule of Law 2009
  • Magic of the UAW 2009
  • Race to Dayton’s Amazing Aviation Places 2010
  • People, Places and Things Volume 1 3rd Edition 2011
  • Wright Dunbar Inc.’s Dayton Ohio Region’s Walk of Fame 2011

2 Responses to “Curt Dalton”

  1. Carol Jones
    6 October 2012 at 11:19 am #

    I have several scrapbooks that belonged to my grandmother (1884 – 1976) regarding soldiers and sailors from Dayton during World War II. They have obits for the guys that were killed, where some of them were staitioned and on what ships and different battles that some fought in. They are all clippings from the Dayton newspapers. I live in Florida now but was born and raised in Dayton. If you have an interest in these I will be glad to ship them to you. I know that if anything happens to me these will be lost.

  2. A. J. (Joe) Haacke
    29 March 2015 at 9:52 pm #

    I am positively blown away with this remarkable prolific man. To be as prolific as he is, it is just incredible. I have lived almost all my life in Dayton and am embarrassed to say I am just now finding this treasure of a man.

    I have been living in Florida for the past 15 years and perhaps that contributes to my lack of knowledge. My niece called to my attention a book he wrote that included my great uncle, L.T. Cooper. I will be in Dayton this summer and it is going to be a must that I meet Curt Dalton.