Boston Kite Flying Experiments – 1890s

Boston Kite Flying Experiments of the 1890s

     Kite flying experiments intended to further the study of meteorology and aeronautics, as well as influence possible designs for future flying machines, were conducted in the 1890s at the Blue Hills Observatory in Milton, Massachusetts.  The program was administered by the Boston Aeronautical Society, an organization that was founded in the spring of 1895.  The society initially consisted of about twenty members, each considered an expert in their field of research. 

     The mission of the society was to encourage experiments with aerial “machines”, (not necessarily mechanical) and to collect and disseminate knowledge relating to solving the problems of aerial navigation, for it was still a time when manned mechanical flight had not yet been perfected.

     In April of 1896 it was announced that the society had decided to include in its mission the encouragement of research and development of kite design.  As an incentive, the society offered monetary prizes for kites that could perform in certain ways.   

     The kites used in the Blue Hills experiments weren’t toys, but large, well designed, scientific instruments meant to fly at high altitudes to gather atmospheric readings.  On July 4, 1896, it was stated in the Evening Star, a Washington D. C. newspaper, “The Boston Aeronautical Society holds that the kite is a scientific instrument of value, and worthy the attention of those who take an interest in scientific equipment.”

      Some of the kite experiments resulted in kite-altitude records being set. On July 21, 1896, what was described as a “flight of kites” was sent up from the Blue Hills Observatory.  The kites were strung together in tandem, and the uppermost kite soared to the record breaking height of 7,200 feet above sea level according to the altimeter device which had been attached to the string below it.  The observatory, it was said, is situated at 625 feet above sea level.

     During another flight the string connected to the kites broke while they were 2,000 feet in the air, sending them and the attached instruments sailing off and out of sight.  They were later recovered three miles away from their starting point. 

     On August 1st a new kite-altitude record was achieved when a string of kites reached 7,333 feet.   The event was witnessed by fifty members of the Appalachian Club. 

     Not long afterward, a new altitude record of 7,441 feet was established.    

This illustration of William Eddy’s kite configuration as he photographed Boston from above appeared in newspapers of the day.

     One man who came to Boston to participate in the Blue Hills kite experiments was William Abner Eddy, (1850-1909), of Bayonne, New Jersey.  Eddy was the inventor of the “Eddy Kite”; a some-what diamond shaped kite of large proportions which lacked a tail. 

     In August of 1896, Eddy arrived with twenty-two of his kites with the intention of taking aerial photographs of Boston by suspending a camera in the air and working the shutter remotely from the ground.  Mr. Eddy was already credited with taking the first aerial kite photograph in the United States in Bayonne, N.J., on May 30, 1895. 

     Eddy began his photographic trials over Boston on Monday, August 24, from the roof of the post office building, and continued them throughout the week.  The first picture was taken from an altitude of 400 feet, the second at 700 feet, and the next four at 500 feet.

     On August 25, as Eddy was attempting to take his seventh aerial picture over the city, the string to the kites broke, sending all nine kites and his camera crashing to the street, but it was reported that it did not appear that the camera was too badly damaged, or the film compromised.     

     When all of the film plates were later developed, it was found that Mr. Eddy had captured some great aerial views of the Boston Common area, Beacon Street, Commonwealth Avenue, Tremont and Washington Streets, and the Charles River.  Some were taken from an altitude of 1,500 feet.       

     The kites Mr. Eddy employed for the project measured seven feet in diameter and between four to eight were flown at the same time depending on the wind. 

     Besides his camera, Mr. Eddy also attached a self-registering thermometer to record temperatures at different altitudes above the city to be compared with temperatures above the Blue Hills Observatory from kites being flown there during the same time.      

     In the autumn of 1896 further kite experiments were conducted at the Blue Hills Observatory to gather meteorological data.  In these experiments, nine kites attached by piano wire and carrying meteorological instruments reportedly rose to nearly 9,000 feet. 

     One newspaper, The Austin Weekly Statesman, described the process: “The kites were three in number, all of them on this occasion of the Eddy pattern, two of them being at the end of the line and the third some hundreds of feet below.  The kites were of large size, two of them being six feet in their largest dimension, and the third one a monster of nine feet, presenting some 65 square feet of surface to the wind.  This varied from 18 to 31 miles per hour at the surface, and the pull of the wire which held the kites mounted at times to upwards of 125 pounds.” 

      Sources:

     Courier Democrat, (Langdon, N.D.), “Taken From A Kite – Ingenious Method Of Taking Photographs”, August 1, 1895

     Evening Star, (Washington, D. C.), “Kites And Science”, July 4, 1896 

     The Topeka State Journal, (Topeka, Kansas), “Cloud Tourists – Aeronauts Will Hold A Unique Convention In Boston”, July 18, 1896

     The Topeka State Journal, “New Kite Record”, July 25, 1896  

     The Herald, (Los Angeles, CA.), “Great Kite Flying”, August 2, 1896

     The Evening Times, (Washington, D.C.), “Photos From The Sky”, August 24, 1896

     The Sun, (New York, N.Y.), “Eddy’s Kite String Broke”, August 26, 1896

     The Roanoke Daily Times, (Roanoke, VA.), “Kite Photograph Of Boston”, August 27, 1896 

     Waterbury Democrat, (Waterbury, Ct.), “Mid-Air Photographs”, August 28, 1896 

     The Austin Weekly Statesman, (Austin, TX.), “High Kite Flying In Boston”, October 1, 1896  

     The Chicago Eagle, (No Headline), October 31, 1896

 

First Public Air Trips In Vermont – 1919

First Public Air Trips In Vermont -1919

     The following newspaper article appeared in the Middlebury Register, of Middlebury, Vermont, on August 8, 1919. 

FIRST PUBLIC AIR TRIPS TO BE A FEATURE OF COUNTY FAIR 

     Interest in aviation in this section has been developing at rapid strides but the best exhibition yet seen is expected to be afforded at the Addison County Fair when Lieut. John J. Lynch of Rutland will qualify here as the first public carrier of air passengers.

     Mr. Lynch, who for a month past has been making almost daily flights from Rutland and carrying a number of passengers on short trips which are said to have cost a dollar a minute, is the foremost aviator now in Vermont, and he has a particular interest in providing a good exhibition here as just prior to his enlistment in the army he was a student at Middlebury College.

     Secretary F. C. Dyer of the Fair management announced with a great deal of elation this week that he had succeeded in procuring Mr. Lynch and that if conditions are favorable he would do “all the stunt flying” that he learned in the army, and in addition would take up passengers.  It will be the first appearance of an army aviator at any Vermont fair, and added to the other entertainment attractions will doubtless bring out a large crowd for the four days of fair week.

     The rapid multiplication of automobiles in the country will make it possible for a larger number of farmers to attend than ever before and from the talk at the big farm meeting at the Government Farm last Tuesday it appeared that practically everyone in the county as well as many outsiders were planning on fair week as their next holiday.  The presence of Lynch and his plane will make it possible for any farmer to stay at the fair up to within about two minutes of milking time and then speed home in the air, if he has a dollar a minute to spare.

     Hortonia Man Will Buy Airplane   

     Lieut. Lynch made a number of flights at Meehan’s Park, Lake Dunmore, last Sunday and had a narrow escape from injuring himself and the machine while making one of his landings at the field.  Because of the size of the field, Lynch was obliged to have five men assist him in stopping the machine.  On this occasion two of the men fell, while another missed his hold on the fast moving plane, and the other two were able to do little toward holding it as it swung around toward the pavilion.  It was diverted, however, so that it did not strike the building, but ran into a fence where, however, there was little damage. 

     One of Lynch’s passengers on Sunday was Edward C. McGoff of Rutland, construction foreman for the Hortonia Power Company, who is planning on a purchase of a small flying machine to take him around to the various plants of the Hortonia Company, covering practically the entire state. This probably will constitute the first commercial use of a flying machine in Vermont.      

 

Harvard University Aeronautical Society – Harvard 1

Harvard University Aeronautical Society – Harvard 1

Vintage postcard view of a

Curtiss Airplane

      The Harvard University Aeronautical Society was established in November of 1909 with 250 charter members.  In 1910 the society constructed its own airplane, a Curtiss style biplane called the “Harvard 1”.  It was the first airplane to be owned by any college or university in America.  

     The following newspaper articles relate to the “Harvard 1”  

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     The following newspaper article appeared in The Caucasian, (Shreveport, La.), on January 25, 1910.   

     HARVARD TO BUILD AN AEROPLANE

     All the materials and accessories necessary to the construction of a first class, full size aeroplane have been ordered by the Harvard University Aeronautical Society.  J. V. Martin, director of the organization, has been authorized to make such purchases as he may deem necessary to build a two passenger biplane.  Plans of the machine have already been completed.  When it comes time to manufacture the various parts needed in the construction of the aeroplane the work will be done by undergraduates in the Harvard engineering and scientific departments, and the assembling of the machine will also be under their charge.    

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     By June of 1910 the Harvard 1 was ready for testing.  The following article appeared in The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, (Bridgeport, Ct.), on June 14, 1910.

HARVARD’S AEROPLANE HAS TRIAL FLIGHT ON SOLDIERS FIELD TODAY

     Boston, June 14 – Harvard’s new aeroplane, the first flying machine owned by any college in America, went for the first time under its own power in a series of engine testing feats on Soldiers Field today.  The Harvard I, as it has named, did not leave the ground, and the attempt to fly will not be made until tomorrow morning, when if the weather is propitious, the machine will have further tests.

     In the trials this morning the aeroplane simply covered the length of the field four times on the rubber-tired wheels with which it is equipped for starting purposes.  The engine proved able to drive the propeller at 1,200 revolutions per minute and to develop in the propeller a thrust of 190 pounds.

     The aeroplane developed speed quicker than an automobile and within 100 yards was going at about 20 miles per hour.

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     The following article appeared in The Washington Times, (Washington D.C.),  on July 11, 1910.

HARVARD AEROPLANE MAKES TWO FLIGHTS

     Boston, July 11 – Harvard aeroplane No. 1 made two fairly successful flights on Soldiers Field today.  In the first the machine traveled fifty yards.  Fifteen minutes later the machine went an estimated distance of 150 yards.  During the first flight an altitude of four or five feet was attained and in the second flight about eight feet.

     When descending from the second flight the machine landed on the left rear wheel, breaking it and disabling the machine for further use today.  It was operated by J. B. martin.  the Harvard Aeronautical Association has announced that it will build another machine of the passenger-carrying type.  

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     The following article appeared in The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, (Bridgeport, Ct.), on July 12, 1910, page 4. 

     HARVARD AEROPLANE IS AGAIN SMASHED

     Boston, Mass., July 12 – Harvard aeronauts today are busily engaged patching up their aeroplane Harvard I which has again been smashed after twice getting off the ground in the first flights of its erratic career.  In the latest attempt the flier covered 100 yards at about five to eight feet from the ground.  The was preceded by a trip of 50 yards. 

     As the ship was making good speed towards the bleechers it collapsed, landing on the left rear wheel and straining a wire.  In a subsequently attempted flight, this wire snapped.  The Harvard Aeronautical Club proposes to begin working on a passenger ship within a week. The latter craft, together with the Harvard I, will compete in the aero meet this coming September at the stadium.

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     (The aero meet referred to was the famous Harvard-Boston Aero Meet of 1910.)

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     The following article appeared in the New York Tribune, August 27, 1910, page 4.

WIND DAMAGES AEROPLANES

     Boston, Aug. 26 – The two flying machines now assembled on the aviation field at Atlantic, where, from September 3 to 13, is to be held the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet, were almost carried off to-day by a gale of wind during a heavy rainstorm. The machines – the Harvard I aeroplane and the Pfitzner monoplane – were stripped clear of the their covering, and the monoplane lost its wings.

     H. F. Kearney, an aviator, of Missouri, who is to fly the Pfitzner monoplane, had expected to make his first flight on the Atlantic field to-day, but the storm forced him to abandon the attempt. 

     Cromwell Dixon, in his dirigible airship, declares that on Tuesday he is going to try to fly from Boston to Plymouth, more than forty miles, landing as near Plymouth Rock as possible.  later he intends to retrace Paul revere’s historic ride through Middlesex County towns , to circle Bunker Hill Monument and to maneuver over the navy yard at Charlestown and over vessels in the harbor, dropping imitation bombs.

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     Other Sources:

     The Pacific Commercial Advertiser, “Harvard Men To Build Biplane”, February 26, 1910, page 6.

The Harvard-Boston Aero Meet of 1910

The Harvard-Boston Aero Meet of 1910

   

Vintage postcard view of a
Curtiss Airplane

     The Harvard-Boston Aero Meet of 1910 was the first international air-meet of its kind ever held in the United States, and became an aviation record setting event.  Some newspapers touted it as “the greatest meet of its kind ever held in America”, and it was, for it eclipsed the first international aviation meet that was held in Reims, France, the year before.  

     Although it was advertised as the “Harvard-Boston Aero Meet”, the event was actually held on a 500 acre tract of land on the Squantum Peninsula in the neighboring town of Quincy, but some newspapers reported the location as being in “Boston”, “Squantum”, “Atlantic”, or “Soldiers Field”.

     The air meet was originally scheduled to be held from September 3rd thru September 13, but was so successful that it was extended for two additional days.  Preparations had been made months before the start, with advertising and promotion, vendors, and the construction of grandstands capable of seating 150,000 people, and parking areas which could accommodate up to 10,000 automobiles.

     The event came about through the efforts of the Aero Club of New England and the Harvard Aeronautical Society of Harvard University.   

     The following newspaper article which appeared in The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, (Bridgeport, CT.), on May 24, 1910, indicates that during the early planning stages there was some disagreement between the various aero clubs across the country.     

     INSURGENTS WILL NOW HOLD RIVAL AVIATION MEETS

     New York, May 24. – When the board of governors of the Aero Club of America meets this afternoon to decide formally upon a place for holding the international aviation contest and to award the contract for financing the meet, it is not likely that representatives of the various aero clubs throughout America will be present following the split which has resulted in the foundation of a rival aero club.  The split will probably be followed by new complications in the patent suits of the Wright Brothers which were thought to have ended when the Aero Club of America recently recognized the validity of the Wrights patents and agreed that no aviation meet should be held in America unless it consed (newspaper word/spelling) by the Wright company.  

     The clubs which were formally affiliated with the Aero Club of America and which have now broken away to form the American Aeronautic Association are the aero organizations of Indianapolis, St. Louis, Baltimore, and Harvard, Illinois, Washington and Buffalo.  The Aero Club of America declares that the association of out-of-town clubs will in no way affect the international aviation meet to be held in October, plans for which will be completed this afternoon.

     The insurgents say they will in their turn hold such aviation meetings as they see fit.  This will surely be followed by legal complications for the Wright company would immediately seek to enjoin any meeting held without license.  If the courts uphold the validity of the Wright patents as some have done heretofore, opposition would be useless.

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     An unrelated dispute arose between two of America’s top aviators, Glenn Curtiss and Charles Hamilton, which was reported in the New York Tribune, on August 2, 1910, page 2.

HARVARD MEET IN DANGER   

Aero Club Can’t Settle Dispute Between Curtis And Hamilton

Both Men Prove Obstinate

Hamilton Still Without License, And Curtis Insists He Stick To Old Agreement

     Aviators have highly sensitive organisms, and when they fall out there is not much use in a third party trying to reconcile them.

     Curtiss and Hamilton have not smiled when speaking of each other for several weeks now.

     “You can’t fly at Harvard in any machine other than the one I make at Hammondsport,” says Curtiss to the bull-headed younger man.

     “I won’t fly anywhere unless in a machine not made by Curtiss,” replies Hamilton to one and all.

     And then the third party, the national council of the Aero Club of America, tried to calm the breezes and invent some means whereby both aviators could make money while utilizing the same sky.

     The council met at 3 p.m. yesterday and worked hard until 7 o’clock.  It was decided that that body could sanction only an aeromatic show that was open to any licensed and duly qualified aviator.

     The action settled the right of Hamilton to fly at Harvard, without of course, involving the council concerning the alleged contract existing between Curtiss and Hamilton, which Curtiss maintains, binds Hamilton to fly the former’s type of machine for a stated period.

     Although Hamilton has not yet been “licensed” by the Aero Club, no doubt is prevalent of his ability to qualify.  It would, in fact, be a serious undertaking for any aviator in America to duplicate the things that Hamilton  might well be expected to do while proving that he knew how to be a pilot.

     Curtiss was appointed by the club some time ago to “observe Mr. Hamilton for three flights,” so the officials might be guided in giving him a license.  Curtiss has requested that the club waive the triple observation and issue the license any way.

     All this then points to the probability that if Hamilton does not fly at the Harvard aeronautic meet, September 3 to 13, it will not be because he is short on qualification.

     But it does not lessen the strain on a lot of persons as to whether Curtiss and Hamilton will fly at Harvard together or separately, or whether Harvard will have any aeronautical meet.  The action of the council yesterday doesn’t help Curtiss or Hamilton to attain equilibrium.  It is said by Curtiss’s manager, J. S. Fanciulli, who is also secretary of the executive committee of the council, that Curtiss will not fly at Harvard if the aero club of that learned institution consents to Hamilton’s appearance in a machine not named for his principal.      

     Hamilton said last night after the conference that he would not go to Harvard or take any steps leading toward Harvard unless he was invited – he might add, urged.

     It is all most unsatisfactory and befuddled to many interested enthusiasts.

     Israel Ludlow was Hamilton’s attorney at the meeting yesterday.  Fanciulli was invited to retire temporarily as secretary, but was commended in a resolution later.

     It is said he will be retained by the council in that capacity, and will also manage the making of exhibition contracts for Curtiss.

     “I am at a loss to explain the action of the National Council of the Aero Club of America,” said President A. Lawrence Rotch of the Harvard Aeronautical Club, when told to-night at his summer home in Northeast Harbor, Me., of the council’s step in deciding to withhold sanction of the Harvard aviation meet in September unless the entry of Charles K. Hamilton is accepted.  

     President Rotch declined to say whether or not the meet would be held regardless of the official sanction, saying it was a matter for the directors to consider.

     Adams D. Claflin, manager of the meet, denied that any one had been barred from competing.  he added: “Hamilton can fly if he wants to.  I can assign no reason for the action of the national council.” 

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     Apparently all matters were settled for the aero meet took place as scheduled, and Charles Hamilton and Glenn Cutriss participated.        

     Initially balloons of all types were going to be allowed to participate in the aero meet, and plans were in the works for constructing a hydrogen plant, however, in mid-August it was announced that balloons would not be allowed so as not to detract from the airplane flying contests.  

Vintage postcard image of Boston Light

     The Harvard-Boston Aero Meet drew the world’s top airmen of the day.  One particular incentive was a $10,000 cash prize offered by the Boston Globe newspaper for the fastest flight by “any kind of flying machine from Soldiers Field to Boston Light” and back, without stopping.   The distance from the airfield to the light was reported to be a little more than 12 miles which meant an aircraft had to cover almost 25 miles.  This might seem mundane in today’s world, but aviation technology was still in its infancy in 1910, and a pilot had to be confident of his abilities and his machine to attempt such a “long distance” water crossing.  And besides the fame that would go to the winner, ten-thousand dollars was a fortune.   This contest was open to anyone, and contenders were welcome to try their best efforts each day of the meet 12 noon and 7 p.m.   Furthermore, a contestant would be allowed to fly the course as many times as they dared.         

Curtiss Airplane

     In addition to the Globe’s prize money, cash prizes totaling $50,000 were to be awarded to the winners of other contests which included “duration flights” to see who could stay in the air the longest; bomb dropping contests, where points would be scored for accuracy; “get away” contests, to see who take off in the shortest distance; and “accuracy in landing”, to see who could land closest to a designated spot on the field.  These contests were open to all types of mechanical aircraft.

     On August 20, 1910, the New York Tribune reported in part: “No aviation meet held in this country, and probably none yet held in the world, has had such a representative list of foremost aviators as is assured the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet according to the list of entrants to date, announced to-night.  The entry list is international and includes seventeen individual aviators and eleven types of air navigating machines.  The latter embrace the three principal standard types – the monoplane, biplane, and triplane.  It will be the first time the latter type has been exhibited in this country. ”    

      The entrants to date, with their respective types of airship, are as follows: 

     Walter Brookins and Arthur Johnstone, Wirght biplane. (This should read Ralph Johnstone, not Arhtur.)

     M. Didier Masson, Vendome aeroplane.

     A. V. Roe, Roe triplane. (Mr. Roe’s full name was Alliott Vernon Roe.)

     C. Graham-White, Farman biplane and Bleriot monoplane.

     William M. Hillard, Herring-Burgess biplane.  

     J. M. Allias, Harvard biplane.

     Dr. W. W. Christmas, Christmas biplane. ( Full name William W. Christmas, 1865-1960)

     John G. Stratton, Burgess-Curtiss aeroplane.

     Horace F. Kearney, Pfitzner aeroplane

     Greeley S. Curtiss, Bleriot monoplane,

     Ernest P. Lincoln, Clifford B. Harmon, Captain Thomas Baldwin and Jacques De Lesseps.

     For the purposes of exhibition only, Cromwell Dixon also will appear in a dirigible balloon.

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A vintage postcard view of a Bleriot monoplane.

     As the aviators arrived in Boston in preparation for the meet, their aircraft were secured in tents at the airfield.  On August 26 disaster struck for two of them when a severe storm came through the area and severely damaged two planes; the Harvard I, belonging to the Harvard Aero Club, and the Pfitzner monoplane owned by Horace Kearney.  Both aircraft had their canvas skins shredded and the wings from Kearney’s monoplane were pulled away. 

     Meanwhile, aeronaut Cromwell Dixon, stated to the press that on Tuesday, August 30, he planned to fly his dirigible airship from Boston to Plymouth, Massachusetts, a distance of more than forty miles, and landing as close to  Plymouth Rock as possible.  He then planned to retrace Paul Revere’s historic ride via the air, and circle the Bunker Hill Monument before continuing out over Boston Harbor where he would drop imitation bombs on naval vessels. 

     Cromwell Dixon was born July 9, 1892, and by the age of 14 had built his own airship.  In September of 1910, at 18,  he was one of America’s youngest aviators.  He died in an aviation accident on October 2, 1911, in Spokane, Washington.  

Souvenir Postcard View of A. V. Roe’s Triplane

     One aircraft that drew a great deal of attention was a tri-plane belonging to aviator A. V. Roe, (Alliott V. Roe, 1877-1958), which was the first of its kind seen in America. It was reported that his competitors were anxious to see how it would perform against their biplanes and monoplanes. 

     It also was announced that there would be a woman aviator taking part in the meet, 21-year-old Miss Emily T. Willard, of Melrose, Massachusetts, sister of well known aviator Charles F. Willard, hailed by the press to be one of America’s most daring aviators. 

     By September 1st the number of aviators registered to compete in the aero meet had risen to twenty-two.  The following in an excerpt of an article that appeared in The Salt Lake Tribune, (Utah), on September 2, 1910, page 10.       

    “ When the contest committee closed the entries at noon, twenty-two aviators and thirteen different makes of aeroplanes had been registered.  Among the latest to file their applications were Stanley Y. Beach, who will be seen in a Bleriot equipped with a gyroscope for securing stability – the first of its kind: H. Rietmann, with a helicopter, also the only one of its kind: H. A. Connors, with a Connors biplane; Augustus Post, with a Curtiss biplane, and John W. Wilson, who will be seen in a unique man-propelled monoplane.”          

A Vintage Souvenir Postcard of
Claude Grahame-White’s Bleriot monoplane

     The evening before the aero meet was to begin, English aviator Claude Grahame-White made a practice flight around the airfield.  The following morning, people began to gather at the field before sunrise to be sure they obtained prime viewing locations.  Not wanting to disappoint the early risers, Grahame-White started his aircraft and took off to make a six mile flight circling the field, thus unofficially opening the meet.       

      The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, (Conn.), reported in part; “Grahame-White left the ground within five minutes after his machine was run out of the tent which had sheltered it.  He flew three times around the course marked out on the field.  The first lap was made in 2:16.75 official time.  The second lap was completed in 2:17.75.”

     The flight was made at an average height of between 150 and 200 feet, and took a total time of 7 minutes and 1.60 seconds.        

     Later in the day the first accident occurred when Clifford B. Harmon’s biplane sank into soft dirt during take-off.  Some of the wet dirt stuck to the wheels of the plane, upsetting the aircraft’s aerodynamics and causing it to crash into a marsh from an altitude of forty feet.  Although the plane was damaged, Harmon was not hurt.    

     About noon time a drizzling rain began to fall sending some of the crowds home, but those that chose to remain got to see Claude Grahame-White make another three-lap flight around the field.  The five and a quarter mile flight was accomplished in 6 minutes and 5 seconds, which was the best speed of the day.        

     At 6:30 p.m., Glenn H. Curtiss made some practice flights in his airplane.

    Among the spectators on opening day was John Trowbridge, the Cambridge, Massachusetts author who in 1869 penned the famous poem, “Darius Green and His Flying Machine”.  It was reported that despite his writings, he’d never seen a flying machine, and took great interest in the aircraft.        

    On September 4, Claude Grahame-White took first place in all five classes.  He also gave several exhibition flights where he performed hazardous aerobatics.  On one flight he carried as a passenger a Miss Campbell of New York.  With Miss Campbell aboard he circled the field twice and then performed a 200 foot aerial slide pulling out a mere ten feet from the ground before coming down to land.     

     It was reported that the best time of the day (around the airfield) was made by Grahame -White.  This time he covered 5 and 1/4 miles in six minutes, one second with a Bleriot airplane.

     White’s distance record of the day was 45 miles 617 feet, on which trip he was in the air for one hour and 15 minutes, 7 seconds.

     On that same day, Charles F. Willard took Miss Eleanor Ladd of Boston on a flight.  She worked for a Boston newspaper, and was reportedly the first newspaper women in America to fly in an airplane.

     Apparently it wasn’t until September 7th, five days into the meet, that any of the airmen attempted to win the coveted $10,000 cash prize offered by the Boston Globe.  The following details were reported in the Burlington Weekly Free Press, (Vermont), on September 8th. 

     “On September 7th Claude Grahame White became the first competitor to try for the Boston Globe’s 10,000 prize money by flying to Boston Light and back in his Belriot monoplane.  The established course required two trips to the light and back as well as some twists and turns which brought the total miles to be covered to 33.  Grahame-White accomplished this in 40 minutes 1 and 3/5 seconds which set the mark for all other contestants to beat.    

     While passing over the water toward the light at an altitude of 1,000 feet, three U.S. Navy torpedo boats, Stringham, MacDonough, and Bailey, gave chase, but couldn’t keep up with the speed of the airplane.   

     Meanwhile Glenn Curtiss flew his aircraft over a one-and-three-quarter-mile course in six minutes and 29 3/5 seconds.  He also beat Graham-White’s score in the “landing accuracy” event when he came down within 68 feet 10 inches of the mark, besting his rival by 100 feet.” 

Claude Grahame-White’s Curtiss Airplane

     On September 8th, Alliott V. Roe took off in his triplane and circled the field once before his aircraft was hit by a strong gust of wind and crashed near the grandstand from an altitude of about twenty-five feet.  As he was assisted from the wreckage he declared that he wasn’t seriously hurt, but the triplane had to be removed in sections.

     William Hillard then made a similar flight circling the field at about thirty-five feet in the air without incident.

     Ralph Johnstone, Walter Brookins, and Claude Grahame-White, competed for the altitude record. 

     Wilbur Wright announced that his aircraft would not be participating in the speed contests, stating that his airplanes were built more for better fuel economy,  carrying ability, and durability.    

     Augustus Post made several short flights in his Curtiss biplane.

     On September 9, Claude Grahame-White was piloting his Farman biplane when he crashed while attempting to land, crumpling the right wing and damaging the chassis.  Grahame-White, however, was not hurt.  The accident was due to the aircraft being caught in a strong gust of wind.

     The accident occurred at the end of a duration flight contest.  Ralph Johnstone was forced to land during the same contest when the motor of his Wright biplane began to misfire.  At the time Grahame-White had his accident, he had exceeded Johnstone’s time by four minutes, and would have stayed up longer, but was signaled to land by Mr. McDonald, his manager, due to the wind building up.    

     Grahame-White had flown 33 miles and 1,420 feet, compared to Johnstone’s 28 miles, 4,557 feet.     

     Grahame-White already held the world’s record for distance required for take-offs;  20 feet 9 inches.  Prior to the accident he’d tried to beat his own record but was unsuccessful.  He did, however, manage a low score of 26 feet 11 inches which put him in first place for that competition at the aero meet.    

     September 9th was also Governor’s Day at the meet, and Massachusetts Governor Eben S. Draper was on hand with several of his staff.

     Apparently contestants were given points based on their performance in various contests. By the end of the day the following rankings were reported: 

     Bomb Dropping Contest: Claude Grahame-White, 75 points; Glenn H. Curtiss, 25, Charles F. Willard, 13.    

     The standing of the contestants in the other four events in which points were awarded were as follows:  Claude Grahame-White, 30.5 points; Ralph Johnstone, 17; Walter Brookins, 10: Charles F. Willard, 7: Glenn H. Curtiss, 6.5.

     On September 10, Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss competed in the bomb dropping contest by dropping bombs at a mock-up of a battleship.  Curtiss flew his new biplane dubbed “The Flying Fish”.

     Walter Brookins attempted to best his own altitude record of 6,160 feet but was unable to do so.  He did however set a record for airplanes equipped with skids instead of wheels when he landed his biplane 12 feet 1 inch from a given point on the ground in the accuracy contest.   

     Ralph Johnstone set a new duration record by remaining in the air two hours, three minutes, and 5.25 seconds, covering 62 miles and 3,756 feet.  

     On September 12th it was reported that one world’s record and two American records had been broken.  Ralph Johnson set two new records, one in accuracy landing, and the other in distance.  He remained airborne for 3 hours, 4 minutes, and 44 seconds, which broke Clifford Harmon’s record of 1 hour and 58 minutes.  Johnstone’s flight covered 97 miles and 4,466 feet, breaking Harmon’s old record of 90 miles.  Upon landing Johnstone came down almost on top of the designated mark on the field setting a new world’s record.   

     Claude Grahame-White flew twice to Boston Light in his Belroit monoplane covering a distance of 33 miles in 34 minutes.

     What was mentioned as “a feature of slightly less interest” involved a flight made by Charles F. Willard who took along army lieutenant Jacob E. Finkel, a rifle sharpshooter.  As Willard circled the airfield, Finkel fired shots from the airplane at targets on the ground, hitting them more often than not.  The “experiment” was considered “highly satisfactory”.        

     On the final day of the meet, it was determined that the overall champion was Claude Grahame-White.  He’d not only won the $10,000 crash prize from the Boston Globe, but also won first place in four other events, and second place in three others, earning an additional $22,000 dollars.   

     As to Grahame-White’s victory,  the Norwich Bulletin reported in part: (that Glenn Curtis had) “secured a fast motor for his Hudson river flier too late to contest White’s rights to the Globe $10,000 prize, has challenged the Englishman to a match race, the latter to use the Bleriot with which he won the prize.” 

     Ralph Johnston won three first prizes and one second prize for at total of $5,000 in winnings.  Johnston would be killed a few weeks later in a plane crash in Denver, Colorado, on November 17, 1910.  

     Walter Brookins won two first place prizes and one second, earning himself $4,250.

     Glenn Curtiss won the second place prize for speed and took home $2,000.

     Charles Willard won $50 for second place in take-offs. 

     Clifford Harmon of New York reportedly won “all the amateur prizes” but there was no mention of what the amounted to in prize money.

    Although regular prize competition for all events had been closed on the last day, the meet had been so popular that it was decided to allow it to continue for an additional two days. 

     The following day, September 14, a bomb dropping contest from an altitude of 1,800 feet was held, and trophy’s were awarded the winners.

     Two more Boston aero meets were held at the same airfield, one in 1911, and the other in 1912. It was at the 1912 aero meet that well known aviator Harriet Quimby, and William Willard, the event’s organizer, were killed.    

     Sources:

     The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, (Conn.) “Insurgents Will Now Hold Rival Aviation Meets”, May 24, 1910, page 8

     New York Tribune, “Harvard Meet In Danger”, August 2, 1910, page 2.

     Vermont Phoenix, “Globes $10,000 Prize”, August 5, 1910, page 3.

     New York Tribune, “No Balloons At Aero Meet”, August 18, 1910, page 3.

     New York Tribune, “Leading Aviators Enter”, August 20, 1910, page 3.

     New York Tribune, “Wind damages Aeroplanes”, August 27, 1910, page 4.

     The Calumet News, (Calumet, Mich.), “Big Aviation Meet In Boston”, September 1, 1910.

     The Salt Lake Tribune, (Utah), “Twenty-two Aviators In Harvard-Boston Meet”, September 2, 1910, page 10.

     The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, (Conn.) , “English Aviator Makes Six Mile Flight In Boston”, September 3, 1910, page 2.

     Los Angeles Herald, “Big Flock Of Men-Birds Flies At Harvard Field”, September 4, 1910.

     The Bemidji Pioneer, (Minn.) “Aeroplane Cuts Capers”, September 6, 1910.

     The Washington Times, (Wash. D.C.), “Current Tumbles Amateur Aviator”, September 8, 1910, Last Edition, page 4.

     Burlington Weekly Free Press, “English Airman Flies To Light”, September 8, 1910, page 12.

     The Topeka State Journal, (Kansas), “Wrecks his Machine”, September 8, 1910, page 3.  

     New York Tribune, “Smash At Aero Meet”, September 10, 1910, page 4.

     Los Angeles Herald, “Big Aeroplane At Boston Falls In A Heap On Aviation Field”, September 10, 1910, page 13.

     New York Tribune, “New Endurance Record”, September 11, 1910, page 7.

     Los Angeles Herald, “Johnstone Sets Three New Records”, September 13, 1910, page 6.

     Palestine Daily Herald, (Palestine, TX.), “Records Crumble”, September 13, 1910.   

     San Francisco Call, “English Aviator Wins Blue Ribbon”, September 14, 1910, page 1.

     Norwich Bulletin, (Conn.) “Continue For Two Days”, September 14, 1910.

Almenia Rice And Her Human-Lifting Kite – 1902

Almenia Rice And Her Human-Lifting Kite – 1902

A newspaper illustration of Almenia Rice soaring over Boston in her kite – 1902

     Little is known about Almenia Rice other than she was married to Daniel Rice, Jr., and both were circus performers; he a clown, she a tight rope walker, trapeze artist, and balloonist/aeronaut.  What made her famous was her claim in 1902 to have made ascensions over the city of Boston in a kite capable of lifting a human being. 

     The story first appeared in several newspapers around the country as early as December of 1901, and then in various magazine articles, beginning in 1902, and was still being referenced as late as 1977.  What became of the Rice’s and their kite us unknown. 

     The idea of kites capable of lifting a human being was being researched in earnest in the 1890s primarily by the military as an alternative to balloons as a way to observe enemy troop movements.  The advent of the airplane and mechanized flight led to the discontinuation of this program.  However, in 1901-02, before the Wright brothers had made their historic flight, there were still those hoping to perfect this form of aerial ascent.   

     The kite used by Mrs. Rice was built by her husband sometime in 1901, and christened the “Dan Rice Junior”  It was built with a wooden frame covered by canvas, 14 feet tall, 14 feet wide, and open in the middle, with a 5 foot long bar on which Mrs. Rice stood upon while making her flights.  The first test-flight was reportedly made in October of 1901 from the roof of a hotel at 144 Tremont Street, across from the Boston Common.  Subsequent ascensions were also made there.  

     In an article that appeared in a magazine known as the Current Opinion, Mrs. Rice described what took place during the testing phase of their research: “Next we attached weight to the kite – 50, 100, and then 125 pounds.  It carried all of these easily.  Several times the kite broke its line, but instead of collapsing and pitching down zig-zag as most kites do, it floated away like a balloon and settled down as lightly as a bird.”     

     The following newspaper article appeared in The Plymouth Tribune, (Plymouth, Ind.) on February 13, 1902.  (For those not familiar with New England, Boston is sometimes referred to as “The Hub”.)  

     SOARED HIGH OVER BOSTON

Plucky Woman Views The Hub From A Kite

     Boston, Feb. 11 – Supported 500 feet in the air by a kite, a daring little Boston woman has taken a birds-eye view of the Hub.

     Mrs. Rice enjoys the distinction of being the first woman in the world to navigate the air with a kite as a craft.  The man who built the kite – her husband – knew full well the sustaining power of this instrument, he says he felt no thrill when he launched her forth from the roof of the building at 144 Tremont Street.  The woman lay prone in a frail wooden frame, buoyed up by a few square yards of canvas, floating horizontally and guided only by a slender cord, with her husband at the windlass far below.   

     “It was just like flying,” said Mrs. Rice after the feat had been accomplished.  “Never in my life have I experienced so delightful a sensation as that when the big kite went up above the streets and buildings of Boston.”

     “The kite went upward just as easily and evenly as a bird takes flight.  That’s all I can compare my trip – a bird’s flight and nothing else.  There was no jerking, no terrible rushes to take one’s breath away, just a push over the edge of the building, a sinking sensation for a moment, and then a delightful gliding through space with the creatures of the air.”

     During the proceedings Mrs. Rice’s life actually hung on the cord by which the kite was flown.  Had the kite “string” broken she would have been hurled to her death on the pavement of house tops.

*********

     As to being hurled to her death, one account related how Mrs. Rice took the precaution of wearing a parachute.

 *********    

     The following newspaper article appeared in the Willmar Tribune, (Wilmar, Minn.), on July 9, 1902. 

THE WOMAN WHO FLEW

How A Boston Lady Won This Title, By Which She Is Known Among Her Friends 

     To mount into the air upon on of the bars forming the frame of a huge kite is a feat which would seem too perilous to be undertaken, and yet it has recently been done by a woman, Mrs. Almenia Rice, of Boston, has the unique distinction of being the first to use a kite as an aerial vehicle, says the Metropolitan Magazine.  What is more, this daring woman enjoyed the experience so keenly that she declares her intention of making this her chief pastime in the future.  The kite upon which she made her venturesome flight was built for her by her husband, Mr. Dan Rice, Jr.

     “I’ve never had such a delightful sensation” declared she, “as I experienced when my kite was given its freedom and I rose gently into the air.  The ascent was made gradually and evenly as a bird wings in flight.  There was no jerking, no terrible breath-taking rush, but just a delightful glide into space, away from the noise of the city into the mystery of the ether.

     “people said I was foolhardy when they first learned of my intention to take the trip, and they declared that one experience would satisfy me, for if I ever reached earth alive I would be content to live in the lower regions with the rest of mortals.  Before the kite was set free I though possibly public opinion for once was correct, for I am naturally a little fearsome of the unknown and untried, but once well on my way upward I knew that my life on earth would, in the future, be miserable unless I could occasionally take my kite and fly away from the dull level of the city.” 

     Mrs. Rice says that when Santos-Dumont crosses the ocean in his airship she will meet him above the clouds in her strange vehicle.  She has already been up 200 feet above the business districts of Boston, and in the depth of winter, without experiencing any discomfort, so that she feels confident that she can go upward to a height of 3,000 feet in summer time without any danger.

     Mrs. Rice’s monster kite has wooden strips running from the top to the bottom, 14 feet in length; the little bar at the bottom on which she stands measures five feet in length.  The two big white wings for the sides of the kite are 14 feet long.  The line is three-eighths-inch bell rope, made of Italian flax, and will withstand a strain of 1,000 pounds.

     dressed as a boy, so as to attract as little attention as possible, Mrs. Rice made her first ascent from the top of a building in Boston. She has made balloon ascensions, walked a tight wire far above the ground, and swung trapezes, “but the kite sensation was not at all like these,” she says.  

     “As I walk up the wire the earth seems to fall away from me and a feeling of weakness comes over me.  When you go up in a balloon it is quite the same feeling of the earth falling away from you, but as I went up with the kite the sensation was different altogether.  There was no shock, no nervous tremor, but just a peculiarly delightful sensation of flying.  As I rose above the mist and fog of the city, Flying along through the sky, I felt that I could float on forever in happy forgetfulness of all below.” 

*********

     Sources:

     The Plymouth Tribune, (Weekly Edition) “Soared High Over Boston”, February 13, 1902

     Willmar Tribune, “The Woman Who Flew”, July 9, 1902

     Current Opinion – A Magazine of Record and review, Vol. 32,  January to June, 1902, page 607

     Pearson’s Magazine, Vol. 15, January to June, 1903, Page 114.

     Cassell’s Magazine, Vol. 24, December 1901 to May 1902, page 606

     Library of Congress, “Letter From Alexander Graham Bell To Samuel P. Langley”, February 15, 1902.   

     Kitelines Magazine, “Person-Lifting Kites”, Summer, 1977

First Balloon Ascension In Massachusetts – 1821

First Balloon Ascension In Massachusetts – 1821

     The earliest known balloon ascension to take place in the state of Massachusetts occurred on September 3, 1821, from the Washington Gardens on Treemont Street in Boston.  The pilot was a well known aeronaut by the name of Louis Charles Guille, who had begun making balloon ascensions in New Jersey in 1818.  The balloon landed on Ten Hills Farm in Somerville, a town just to the north of Boston.   

     Not only was this flight the first of its kind in the Bay State, but it also triggered what might be the first lawsuit involving a balloon.  Ten Hills Farm was owned at the time by a man named Swan, who sued Aeronaut Guille for damage to his vegetable crops. 

     The facts of the case were stated in a newspaper article which appeared in the New Ulm Review, (a Minnesota newspaper), on December 21, 1910, as part of an article about the potential liability attached to air travelers who may inadvertently cause damage to private property on the ground.  The case involving Louis Charles Guille was cited as a president even though it had occurred 89 years earlier.     

     The article stated in part:

    ” The facts are there stated as follows: Guille ascended in a balloon in the vicinity of Swan’s garden and descended into his garden.  When he descended, his body was hanging out of the car of the balloon in a very perilous situation, and he called to a person at work in Swan’s field to help him in a voice audible to the pursuing crowd.  After the balloon descended it dragged along over potatoes and radishes about thirty feet, when Guille was taken out.  The balloon was carried to a barn at the farther end of the premises.

     When the balloon descended more than 200 persons broke into Swan’s garden through the fences and came on his properties, beating down his vegtables and flowers.  The damage done by Guille with his balloon was about $15, but the crowd did much more.  The plaintiff’s damage in all amounted to $90.

     It was contended before the justice that Guille was answerable only for the damage done by himself and not for the damage done by the crowd.  The justice was of the opinion, and so instructed the jury, that the defendant was answerable for all the damage done to the plaintiff.  The jury accordingly found a verdict for him for $90, on which the judgement was given and for costs.”     

     The sum of ninety-dollars was a significant amount of money in 1821.  Guille appealed, but the decision was upheld.  The court ruled in part that Guille was a trespasser, (although not intentionally), and that his shouts for help “induced the crowd to follow him”, which in turn made him liable.  

      Sources:

     New York Tribune, “New Laws For Air Travel Soon To Be Broached”, October 24, 1909, page 3.  

     New Ulm Review, (Minnesota), “Air Trespassing May Be Costly”, December 21, 1910      

     Massachusetts Aviation Historical Society, www.massaerohistory.org

     Book: “North Jersey Legacies: Hidden History From The Gateway To The Skylands”, by Gordon Bond, The History Press, 2012

The Connecticut Aero Club – 1910

The Connecticut Aero Club – 1910

     The Connecticut Aero Club was an organization that was established in New Haven, Connecticut, on December 28, 1910, with the objective of promoting aerial navigation and aeronautical sports. 

     There were five committees formed within the club: the Contest Committee, Law Committee, Auditing Committee, Membership Committee, and the Consulting Engineers Committee.

     The club was begun with 32 charter members, and quickly grew.  Research did not uncover any newspaper articles about the club past April of 1912.    

     The charter members of the Connecticut Aero Club were as follows:

     President: A. Holland Forbes, of Fairfield

     Vice President: William C. Beers, of New Haven

     2nd Vice President: Alton Farrel, of Ansonia

     3rd Vice President: Clarence E. Whitney, of Hartford

     Secretary: Gregory S. Bryon, of Bridgeport

     Treasurer: Arthur H. Day, of New Haven    

Other Charter Members Included:

Edward W. Beach – Waterbury

Robert A. Beers

General Henry A. Bishop

Nathaniel W. Bishop

Frank V. Chappell – New London

Richard Crane III – Bridgeport

Edson F. Gallaudet – Norwich

John W. Green – Danbury

W. Harry Green – Danbury

Maxwell S. Hart – New Britain

Clarence Hooker

Samuel E. Hoyt – New Haven

A. J. Lake

T. H. MacDonald – New Haven

Hiram P. Maxim – Hartford

Phelps Montgomery – New Haven

Herbert H. Pease – New Britain

Andrew L. Riker – Bridgeport

Clarence G. Spalding – New Haven

Henry B. Stoddard – Bridgeport

Edward L. Uhl

Arthur Watson

D. Fairchild Wheeler – Bridgeport

Walter Wheeler

Two Names Missing

     Sources:

     The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, (Bridgeport, Conn.), “A Holland Forbes Heads New State Aero Club That Is Founded In New Haven”, December 29, 1910  

     Norwich Bulletin, (Norwich, Conn.), “Connecticut Aero Club”, December 30, 1910, page 5.  

 

First Woman To Fly An Airplane In Rhode Island – 1912

First Woman To Fly An Airplane In Rhode Island – 1912

     The following article appeared in The Sun, a now defunct New York newspaper, on September 3, 1912.  This paper discontinued publication in 1916.

FIRST WOMAN FLIES IN R. I.

     With Beachey She Amuses 100,000 People At Providence

     Providence, R. I., Sept. 2 – Lincoln Beachey was the principal performer this afternoon at an aviation meet held at Narragansett Park over the old racetrack.  Beachey  in a biplane performed stunts never before witnesses in this state.  Miss Ruth Bancroft Law, the first woman to fly in Rhode Island, went up in a biplane and for ten minutes entertained the 100,000 spectators.  It was Miss Law’s first flight alone.

     Samuel A. Libbey made a triple parachute jump from a balloon, landing about two miles from the park.

     The meet was held by the Rhode Island Aviation Association and Beachey’s performances included spiral glides and maneuvers in the air the brought the crowd to its feet.  He dropped several chalk bombs.  Of the forty minutes of actual flying at the meet Beachey was in the air a half hour.

*******  

Post Card View Of The Former Narragansett Park in R.I.

     Ruth Bancroft Law was a famous aviator of whom much has been written, and can be found elsewhere on the Internet.

 

 

Connecticut Passenger Seaplane Service – 1921

Connecticut Passenger Seaplane Service – 1921

     What was proposed as a “tentative plan” for a seaplane passenger service for Connecticut was to be, “the first established passenger service by seaplane in New England”.   

     The following newspaper article appeared in The Evening World, a now defunct New York newspaper, on July 12, 1921. 

SEAPLANE PASSENGER SERVICE FOR CONNECTICUT 

     Plans To Make Trips Between New London And Hartford

     New London, Conn., July 12 – Within a short time an air line service of seaplanes will be established between New London and Hartford by Hartford insurance officials and some New London men.  The tentative plan calls for trips from New London at 8 a.m., arriving at Hartford at 8:50 by way of Saybrook and the Connecticut River.  The return trips will be made daily, leaving Hartford at 5 and arriving at New London at 5:50 p.m.

     The Aeromarine Engineering and Sales Corporation will put the flying boat into operation and, if the service demands, an increased schedule will be made up for another seaplane.  The HS-3 type, six-passenger boat, will be used.  This will be the first established passenger service by seaplane in New England.

     Several Hartford insurance men own summer cottages near beaches between Newport and New Haven, and the plan is to drop off passengers at their summer cottages.

     It will cut the automobile time down at least one hour.

********

     The Aeromarine Engineering and Sales Corporation, or “Aeromarine Airways” was a company with six seaplanes which had been successfully operating a passenger airline service from Florida to Cuba since January, 1921.  

     One of their airplanes was named the Ponce de Leon.    

     Source: Shippers Advocate (Magazine), “Aeromarine Airways” by Jack Binns, July-August, 1921, page 306.     

Ballooning For Lost Sounds – 1894

Ballooning For Lost Sounds – 1894

     The following newspaper article appeared in the Washington Standard, (Olympia, Washington), on May 18, 1894.   It is unclear what results, if any, were learned from this experiment, which appears to be the first ever of its kind. 

BALLOONING FOR LOST SOUNDS 

Uncle Sam’s Aeronaut Will Find Out What Ails Boston’s Fog Horns

New York World

     Thomas S. Baldwin, the aeronaut and gymnast, connected with the ballooning department of the signal service and war departments, has been ordered to Boston, where he will conduct a series of interesting and important experiments in aeronautics.  Vessels approaching Boston can be heard through their fog horns 15 miles out at sea, but when within three miles off shore the sound of the fog horn whistle is absolutely lost.  The question is, where does the sound go?

     It is proposed to investigate the upper atmosphere at a distance of 3,000 feet in the hopes of ascertaining whether the sounds from the whistles and fog horns do not go upward, as Mr. Baldwin believes such sounds do.  A monster balloon will be anchored to a government vessel, and will be allowed to ascend to any required distance by means of a wire cable worked by steam.  The vessel will cruse about off Boston and neighboring points to a distance of 10 or 15 miles, and sounds will be made from whistles and horns.  When within three or four miles of shore it is believed that the aeronaut in the balloon can ascertain whether the sound in getting lost ascends.

     In the coil of wire that is attached to the balloon is a telephone wire, by means of which Baldwin will communicate with officials on board the ship.  Major Livermore, of the government service with his staff, will assist the aeronaut in his work, which will probably occupy some months, and perhaps a year.  After these experiments are concluded, Baldwin will turn his attention to experiments in war ballooning, for the benefit of the War Department.

    

        

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