Great photo Thanks
So Hank Ford is standing there thinking,”you ain’t ever gonna get me up in one of these things”, he went on to have the first airline with scheduled flights, the first hotel for overnight air travelers , built the first multi-engined all metal airplanes and had an excellent record for flights on schedule.
Not bad for a guy that would not fly.
As I recall, from reading in the past, Henry Ford and Glenn Curtiss became friends. They had something very much in common. Henry Ford was fighting the oppressive patent holders of the Seldon patents, while Glenn Curtiss was fighting similar problems from the Wright Brothers. For all the wonderful good the Writes did (they practically invented the modern science of aeronautics), they became controlling and wanted to make everyone do things THEIR way, using their patents as a club. Like the Seldon battles, the Wright patent fights went on for many years.
I find Henry's position here interesting. In his later years, when Henry decided to "save" history for future generations (Greenfield Village), he included the Write Brothers bicycle shop and home. However, in the patent fights, he sided more with Curtiss. And Henry's close friend Thomas Edison was much more like the Wrights in how he conducted business. Maybe that is some of why Henry became so conflicted in his later years?
The Ford owned Curtiss flying boat is at the Glenn Curtiss museum in Hammondsport NY, a must see before you die job. Evangaline Dallinger flew a Curtiss flying boat probably the one at Hammondsport. It's just near Watkins Glenn
Wayne, I didn’t know Wilbur and Orville well, but I am quite sure they both spelled their last nome Wright.
Now then, where can I read about the Wrights and Curtiss where Ford is concerned? What book.? Por pavor.
Wayne - that is very interesting about the Wright brothers. I had no idea they became the aeronautical version of George Selden. If Curtiss was fighting that, little wonder that he and Henry became friends.
Anyway, there is a very strong school of thought the a New Zealander named Richard Pearce flew before the Wright brothers. I suspect it will never be able to be proven but, given the delay in communications in those times, this is remarkable. See https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/richard-pearse
Birthplace of Flight!
I hate it when I miss a typo, and I could have sworn I fixed those two before hitting "post"! However, Aaron, you are so-o write!
I think I first read about the Henry Ford and Glenn Curtiss connection with their patent battles on this forum a few years ago.
Google and I do not generally get along anymore, but I still try it from time to time. I googled "Henry Ford and Glenn Curtiss patent battles" and half the first ten hits mentioned Henry coming to Glenn Curtiss' aid with legal teams and other help. A few of the hits were respectable sources such as "National Geographic", I took a quick look at the lead ins for that one, but didn't follow the links or ads any further to see how good it was or not.
I hope you have a good holiday season my long-time friend.
Do I not even get a wee reaction?!
Birthplace of Flight!
John S, I am sorry, when I posted my reply to Aaron in the wee hours, your post had not yet arrived . So, sadly, I had not seen it until just now .
Many years ago, I read quite a few articles about early development of heavier-than-air flight. "Who was really first" is a battle that raged among historians and innovators alike for three quarters of a century, and likely will never be resolved with certainty. If I recall correctly from the reading I did many years ago, there were four significant claims to have been before the Wright Brothers (spelled it correctly this time Aaron!). The one in New Zealand is the most probable to have beaten the Wrights. I also read a short news article just a few years ago that a new tidbit of information had been found to help support the New Zealand claim. (I think it may have been a letter written near the time of their first flight?).
It is interesting to note that one of the other three substantial claims was right here in Grass Valley Califunny. The airfield used by the Gilmore brothers is now occupied by a school named after them. They were basically hermits that had made enough money in the goldfields to do whatever they wanted to. And somehow, they wanted to develop air travel. It is documented that they flew several times before 1906, although the documentation is not solid. They claimed to have flown in 1902, although none of their flights before 1910 amounted to much They never really got it right. It is interesting to note, that there was a historic meeting of air-flight pioneers (I think in the late '30s or '40s?) where the surviving one of each pair of brothers met. The Gilmore brother, having been pretty much a hermit most of his life, went unrecognized until the surviving Wright brother saw him, and introduced him to the attending crowd. Wright praised Gilmore as a true pioneer of flight.
The majority of reigning historians eventually gave the crown to the Wright Brothers, based largely on the fact that the Wright Brothers had the only well documented first flight. They had documented their efforts from their first glider flights in the 1890s, keeping meticulous logs, and photographs of most efforts. Also, their choice of Kitty Hawk was well made, with a small local and mostly isolated population. There were enough people that knew what they were doing, but they didn't talk much outside their community.
A great book about Curtiss and the Wrights is “Birdmen” by Lawrence Goldstone. Also do not miss the Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport NY.
John, I didn't know Kiwis cold fly.
Another good one - very informative.