|The Aeronautic Society of New York|
the inhabitants of Jupiter. The doing of anything practical was not to be attempted. An
Aviation Section would only bring the organization into ridicule, as dabbling in a crazy
proposition. Hence came the division. To do what was in them to attempt, those en-
thusiasts were forced to go outside that organization and form a fresh body. But none
regretted the necessity more than they did. Out of that necessity The Aeronautic Society
That the little group was in earnest was shown at once. The enthusiasts knew what
they needed. A Committee of Ten was appointed to draw up the most equitable by-laws
possible and to secure grounds, and sheds, and workshops, where flying machines could be
built. And they went a step still further. Realizing that nothing but a demonstration of
actual fight would bring conviction to the public mind that the secret of mechanical flight
was not beyond man's solving, the Committee of Ten announced, so early in its existence as
the second meeting of the founders on June 17th, that arrangements could be made to invite
the late lamented Leon Delagrange to come to America, and give an exhibition at New York.
Delagrange had just then made a sensational flight of fifteen minutes' duration, which
was then the world's record, and had shown that he was complete master of his machine.
He had cabled that he would be very glad to come, and his coming would, unquestionably,
have meant a great stride forward in the art in the United States. For such flights as he
would have made would have aroused the highest enthusiasm, and left behind them the
But the fact of the invitation to Delagrange leaked out, and, at once, a syndicate was
formed to bring over Henry Farman as a commercial porposition under other auspices.
On learning of this, and not forseeing the unhappy result that was to come of it, The
Aeronautic Society, unfortunately, felt that it could not enter into a commercial competition,
and hoped that, at any rate, the object it had had in view in the visit of Delagrange
would be gained. What the disastous result of the mismanagement of the Farman
exhibition was is too well known to need repeating here. What might have been the
greatest stimulus to the art was turned into a detriment, through the ignorance of those
in charge selecting grounds in which it was not possible for Farman to fly, or through
their cupidity in thinking only of getting a place where great gate receipts seemed certain
and giving no heed to the needs of the aviator.
Has the Society not been balked in its intention by this unfortunate opposition, it is
certain that the result would have been very different, and America would have been
saved from an episode which was anything but pleasant, and which permitted a foreigner
to take back to Europe impressions and stories of our country, which, though, unhappily,
true, in his experience, were in themselves slanders upon the nation. It is, however, pleasing
to be able to turn over the dark page, and to record that M. Henry Farman understood
the mistake that had been made, and he became an Honorary Member of The Aeronautic
In July, 1908, the Society was fully organized and incorporated. officers pro tem, had
been appointed, Lee S. Burridge being chosen as President, with Louis R. Adams, Stanley Y.
Beach, William J. Hammer, Ernest L. Jones, Wilbur R. Kimball, Henry H. law, Orrel A.
Parker, L. G. W. Schroeder, A. Leo Stevens, A. C. Triaca and Roger B. Whitman, as his
fellow Directors, Mr. Schroeder acting as Secretary.
ITS OBJECTS were briefly set forth as follows:
To advance the Art of Aeronautics to the fullest extent within its powers by
stimulating interest therein.
To assist its members in carrying on experiments.
To encourage inventors to experiment along aeronautic lines.
To aid experimenters to the realization of their ideas by the provision of the
most necessary facilities with which to carry on their work.
To bring together, as far as possible, those working in the various fields of
aeronautic endeavor in order that each individual may have the advice and
co-operation of others.