My grandfather died when I was just a small child. He was an early aviator and very inventive. Besides inheriting a box of photos, I believe I also inherited some of his inventive skills.
Above is one of his many ideas. I believe this is an "un-breakable" runway marker. It's too bad he didn't think to make this larger and patent it as the self erecting tent.
These are pictures of his work bench at a hanger (Ashburn Field near Chicago?) You can clearly see the template for the wing of a Curtiss JN4 marked on the bench top.
Pictures of a Loening aircraft in front of the hanger. An interesting thing to note here is that this is a single wing aircraft. Most airplanes built in the '20s were biplanes with two wings.
My grandfather got his training in the Army when he was stationed in Texas City, Texas.
He did receive a patent for camouflage dope paint to be used on fabric covered aircraft when he was stationed at Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio.
He claimed to be the 9th employee of the U.S. Air Mail. After the "Kelley" Act, which turned the airmail back over to private carriers, my grandfather bid on the routes from Chicago to Cleveland and Chicago to New York. Henry Ford got the contract and even build his own planes. (The Ford Tri-motor)
One of his claims to fame is owning the first airplane to be stolen and crashed. This was a Curtiss "jenny" JN4 which crashed in Chicago in June, 1922.
I just realized that the two pictures above are NOT the same plane. If you look close at the tail on the first plane, you can see his name. He supposedly had his own Aerodrome (small airport) in Evanston, Ill. just off of Dempster and Sheridan Roads. If this property was still in the family, I would be rich!
People gathering to see the first aerial marriage, which took place in one of his planes.
This was in one of his Junkers JL-6 aeroplanes. A single wing airplane in the '20s. This must have been real scary.
The wedding party. If you know any of the people, please let me know.
According to my research, Junker built about 370 of these JL-6 planes. How many of these my grandfather owned is not known. He died penniless in a state hospital.
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