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The San Francisco call. [volume] (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, November 13, 1910, Image 14

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85066387/1910-11-13/ed-1/seq-14/

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Hubert Latham.
Copyright by E. Filiatre.
Charles F. Willard;
a a\\V fHY, it doesn't seem more than a •week
W / a^° s ' nce tne Wrights were guarding
\l\ their workshop like a diamond labora
tor}- and every one else in the game was
either sealing up keyholes or trying to peek through.
And cow look at them!" So spoke a man In the
stands at the recent Boston aviation meeting as he
ftood staring up at the triumph of the event, when
Walter L. Brookins, Ralph Johnstone, Claude Gra
hame-White and C. F. Willard were sailing the aii
above the field in open exhibition.
The man in the stands, like the man in the street,
is apt to voice the prevailing note. He may not be
an expert, but he knows the trend of the moment and
the of the hour. And in this instance he
pointed out, crudely enough, the new and significant
stage in the development of the aeroplane.
The masters of the craft have abandoned, tempo
rarily, the secret laboratory method in their work.
Their machines are appearing daily under' the guid
ance of their pupils at public gatherings, meets, fair*
and celebrations in all parts of the country. They are
no longer preparing models under lock and key and
stealing away to make flights by night, but they are
coming into the open and inviting the man in the
stands and very one else* to step up and watch their
inventions. Moreover, they have abandoned the keen
race for records, the breathless straining after fresh
achievements that formed their chief interest a few
J. B. Moisant
vcars ago. Instead they are resting on their laurels
and satisfying public curiosity.
Aviation, so far as it means a nerve racking strug
gle for new flying marks, tense competition among
birdmen for premier honors of the air and constant
study of new designs, has come to a halt for the time
being. If there is one apparent feature of present
general conditions in the science it is that the con
test for supremacy among American and foreign de
signers has paused and that aviators are grasping
rather at tangible returns in money than at further
fame in higher altitudes, longer journeys and faster
flights. \
Aviation, so far as it meant public familiarization
with the possibilities of the aeroplane, is enjoying its
harvest moon. Flying is at its hour of novelty and
prosperity. Its exponents are seizing the opportunity
at the full. The time is ripe for the reaping of re
wards and they are garnering the wealth that will
carry them on in future important and serious work.
"We can scarcely be blamed," said one of the vet
•••sn aviators recently, in explanation, "if 'we turn
\u25baside from puzzling over theories and models to bene
.ht by a fleeting stage of commercialism. We have
spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in experimen
tation. We shall spend many more hundreds of thou
sands. In the meantime we are improving public
interest to replenish our purses."
This is the explanation of the [fenomcnon.ob
ssrved by the man in the stands. The practical aero
plane has materialized from a "3ream to a fact. The
Now for the \Bird Men^Who^
the ßewards of ' a Temporary Stage of } Commercialism
Co«mt Jacques de Lesseps.
' Photo by Pictorial News Co. -
Claude Grahame- White.
rtjenry JVVcyniann.;
early strivings arter startling results, when each week
brought forth its .astonishing advance, have passed.
Man has" flown across the channel, 1 across the Alps,
from London to Paris, from Albany, to New York.
The future can hold nothing that -will seem as mar
velous in comparison with • the; past as did these feats,
all within- seven of .the first 59 second flight by
Wilbur .Wright. ;;The. public is satiated with wonders,
crammed with records,; and it demands mbsjt insist
ently that it .be; allowed a chance to see" the strange
machines; its elf. t _ The aviators are quite content; to
humor it. .
"I have been urged repeatedly to prepare a .ma
chine especially for a try' at the speed ? mark,'' , said
the same aviator, who did not care to have his name
used, "but why should I? There is no pension fund
for -impoverished air pilots that •! "ever ; heard of.
Within the last year or so we '; have had .'oiir first re-;
turns." ..My, machine will : fly /and --my'" pupils- can-be
well paid for flying it. That is what attracts me at
present. . . '
"After. the present craze. over the aeroplane has ex- ;
pended itself, as -it must,' f after the edge has been
taken off public curiosity and an exhibition of a meet
ing ceases to be the drawing card it; is now, why, '.very
well. -I -shall s " be glad then to .^go.^ back tb-my work
bench and my models. 1 shall be keen -to construct
a machine designed to capture the speed record. And
I shall be the keener, mark this point, because I shall
have the mon,ey to proceed with.
- "Nearly all the flying, men look upon it as I do.
They have not gone money mad; they have not al
lowed a noble craft to fall , foul of a hunger for
riches, but, to mix the figure effectively, they are
taking time by the forelock." .
Incidental to this phase of ; the situation in avia
non.thc man in the stands might have remarked an
other decided change.. It was significant at the
Boston meet, as at other recent meets, that of f all
the competitors on the ground, with the single ex
cepion of Mr. Glenn Curtiss, not one ' was -flying
a machine designed by. hirusclf, or, stating the re
verse, none of the original inventors whose nam«
Wi}bur Wright.
' Oryillc Wright.
: ;— ' < \u25a0 j
are associated with a distinct type ; or machine wa?
present except Mr. Curtiss. ; Mr. : Wilbur Wright
\u25a0"Mas a passenger in one of his machines in the bomb
dropping contests, but beyond f that was content"; to
have members of his . staff .handle - the Wright
biplanes. *»' *\u0084 .. J t vv - .
These facts signalized a tendency which' is. becom
ing more , apparent; among, the- pioneers of flying. The
masters themselves are -retiring ;-j from active "; com
petition and exhibition. ! Mr. ; ; Curtiss, -^a; few days
ago emphasized his intention of abandoning public
flights very soon. The Wrights; no longer engage
personally * in -competitive \ and -demonstrative flying.
Abroad- the same holds • true . of - Mons. ' Bleriot/and
of Mr. .Farman: '\u25a0; ; : • : \u25a0 .
The actualV manipulation, of machines at meetings
nowadays is being mostly carried on by" a younger
set; who »are followers and pupils of trie original
experts, instead of by the men -who have borne such
a close \u25a0; relation to the first tentative - steps in avia^
tion. The designers are "leaving -the -greater' risks
to others- and are turning their attention COH7:
struction and instruction. "
'This condition runs .parallel with the present pros r
pefity enjoyecl -by -aviators. There 'is no reason for
the inventors to go aloft when they have pupils^who
call manage the machines 1 for \u25a0 them. ;. It is well that
they refrain ; from \u25a0 continual flights, for th« science
could ill spaVe one of: its ; pioneers.; : A~representa- J
tive: displays the 'machine, 7 s6metimes on: a perceht
age ,basis ; with ,the designer,; and -both, profit : by the
public - thirst for: novelty. -.-Meanwhile': the \u25a0master \is
free to impart his hardly gained-wisdom. and; exper^
ience to' those who must be looked; to for the/fuwfc' 4
to ; build machines and .to - improve/ his type, v .' . \u25a0~,
Thus it conies about that the:.' competitors anil
demonstrators- ol the day are,, chiefly^graduates;; of
the various • schools founded by the ; pioneers; i using
the type ] of machine to which they have .been trained.
The /Wrights, \ for .. instance, have such ; pupils /-as
Messrs; L. .Brookins; ~. Ralph /Johnstone,
"Arch" Hoxsey/ and A. L. ; Welsh: ; Ther best ; known
pupils! of, Mr.; Curtiss include ; Messrs;* Charles ; Foster
Willard, Eugene Ely, ;- J. C.VMcCurdy,! Augustus \ Post
and 'J. v C. Mars. , Mons/- Bleribt;. has -a 'great- number
Eugene E1y. ...
Photo "by: Cress.
Blerbt N
> Copyright by New York H:rald Co,
Augustus Post:
• Glenn H. Curtiss.
Copyright by New York Herald to..
'Arch Hoxsey.
-\u25a0 . \u25a0; . •-Jr.. : ~s
I \u25a0 \u25a0•\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0 v . . :
. of pupils, some of whom have in turn" pupils of their
:•\u25a0• own. Comte Jacques- de Lesseps, Mr. j." Armstrong
\u25a0 Drexel and ,Mons. Paulhan are prominent expo
nents of : the' Bleriot type of monoplane, as are also
Messieurs Alfred L'e Blanc, , J. B. Moisant and ' Emile
?;Aubrum:\. Messrs. -Clifford &. Harmon and Henry
Weymann "are pupils' of the Farman school,, as was
Mr, "Grahame- White, who 'has also learned to use a
' Bleriot machine. Some, of these gentlemen approach
flying; in }the^spirit -of ; the amateur and- others-.are
.; exhibiting- -on* their : own account. Still others are
indirectly: connected with the- staffs of their 'instruc
tors: o,These",last are supplied with, machines, with
which they fill engagements at exhibitions and meet
ings, sAt present their time is : fully occupied. No
important state or county fair is' considered com
plete without: a real, surer enough bird man •as \u25a0\u25a0 the big
attraction.;, Balloons, parachute jumpers' and horse
/races are --worn threadbare 1 . Calls are .made -con
is tantly r^upon the -master aviators for the , services of
"demonstrators. The ;bookings; already, made extend
• a yearr* or /more ahead? A staff ; pupil is \u25a0 assigned •to
'fill a list . of engagements*like'any. other :performer.
It i is w pointed out \u25a0by .aviators 7 that r the -, existing
'period! of necessarily, temporary,
,, r is not 'without its value in \u25a0 the .progress of : the aero
*-. plane.' V-^ While the stress of competition ; has slack
ened,' the -great ri^ flights' being \u25a0 made and'
"•the- manufacture : of - machines demanded for exhibi
: tors Jail \ con tribute <to \ the "data ; of the ; science ; and
; ' the i knowledge- of^its- followers'- Every time: a -flying
r man • rrTakes -, ah ascent jhe . learns ., something ' more
aboutithe - control and "manipulation",, of , his
t-plaqe. 'rji Every time - there \u25a0 is ' an •• accident or (a - break
0 do^nv the ' cause is ; carefully sought \u25a0 and an -attempt
', made ;^ to correct, the : fault. ; ." \u25a0 ";
Jflying for money ' >.*-* *\u25a0"\u25a0 '
•rSo;it^is;-that:al though, the; masters , are: no longer;
.-pitted : . against > one • another .v- for .records they are
V steadily; studying [ and improving the existing -.types,
'\u25a0; building' upHrom the experience of their pupils. The
> curious : and ' generous 'public provides "them : with the
wherewithal ; and the- leisure.
• : Meanwhiie r there .is - one man - who \ does > not stem
:% to } have vbeen ; able to) dip' .his hands ; into ; the •* golden*.
\u25a0 flodd.. Aviation"- meetings have been a- vast success
Lours Paulhan.
. . \u25a0':\u25a0. /•\u25a0\u25a0\u25a0^\u25a0\u25a0*-'.
from the standpoint of the spectators and flyers, but
the promoter, who usually looks out for a fat sfica
of the profits, has been sadly out of pocket. Up to
the present time, it is said, not one such meeting
has returned anything to those who backed it, and
in most instances there has been a loss. Figures of
the amounts lost at some recent aviation events are
JL« cL n«LI" *v •• • • •«£.»* •••••• •• • ••••••••• \u25a0•••••••
BnurnemoiitK SO 000
Xi liiCi\pOO* •••••••••••••••••••••»•• \u25a0\u2666_•• •• • • 4 O»LA-Vy
Rheims 100,000
Nice j. 110,000
Boston 20,000
The promoter's plaint upon this state of affairs
comes back upon" the aviator. The bird man is play
ing. up to the top of the market. He knows that the
public wants to see him perform, is clamoring* for
an exhibition, and he promptly skies his price. The
returns for those who able to make practical
flights nowadays are enormous and the promoter
has to stand the strain. What the promoter has so
far apparently failed to observe is that the public's
curiosity is quickly satisfied. Counting upon the
wide advertising that flying has had and the gener
ally keen interest aroused he ha 3 planned for long
engagements. The result too often has been that
during the last days of a meeting he has been con
fronted with stands of empty seats. The public saw
the; aviators fly onc*e and did* not care to see them
again. .The Boston event was a success during its
first week, but when the promoters extended the
time, and with it their expenses, they suffered a loss.
To the successful flying man who Is oat with a
sickle under this smiling harvest moon the prizes
offered at meetings are no longer enough of an at
traction. Many prominent aviators, awake to their
chances, will not take part without a guarantee, and
a heavy one. They say that the inducement is not
great enough, what with the risk of losing races and
contests. They point to their expenses, the corps
of skilled mechanicians they must carry around with
them, the transportation and care of their machines.
And they will very often turn their backs upon the
"offered prizes in favor of a fair or an exhibition
where their servics are certain to bring a large sum
for the • single engagement.
The fairs are the best* customers the flying men
have in this time of quick business and rich returns.
At a fair the cost of an aviator for a few days can
be counted in definitely as part of the outlay and
; the managers may be sure of drawing greatly in
creased attendances. .This fall several aviators have
been getting. $10,000 or $15,000 for exhibitions about
the country. It is predicted that for the next year
or two, until the public is familiar with aeroplanes
; in -action or until 'the number of professionals ia
greatly increased, the, rewards "will continue to be
>-cry tempting.
;So it is that the man who compiles those übiquit
ous little books for the waistcoat pocket containing
statistics on everything under the sun and a lot be
sides is -now -sitting with hi 3 pencil idly tucked be
hind his ; ear so far as the subject of aviation is -con
cerned. Worlds- champions in flying no longer suc
ceed one another with the rapidity of clay rabbits '
on a shooting range. A record may go by the boards
here and ; there. But the aviators are no longer far
suing niarks with the fervor of former days. \Vnat
touches them most nearly is the garnering of the
sheaves against* the day when means will be needed
to; resume active development. ;
The San Francisco Sunday Call.
Henry* Farfngo
J. Armstrong -DrcxcL
Alfred Lc Blanc.
"Clifford B. Harmon.

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