George E. A. Hallett
George E. A. Hallett - 1916
Collection of Ron Leverenz, 6-16-09

George E. A. Hallett
George E. A. Hallett
George E. A. Hallett
Curtiss Camp, North Island, 1911
From WALDO: Pioneer Aviator
Baker Machine Works, 1911
From WALDO: Pioneer Aviator
George E. A. Hallett - 1914
Collection of Roy Nagl

Edsel Ford's Aid Enlisted
Scripps Develops Worth-While Project
By Wm. E. Scripps
     Since my election to the presidency of the Early Birds in December, 1934, I have given a great deal of thought to the accomplishment of some worthwhile undertaking during my tenure of office. Upon various occasions it had come to my attention that our organization had long sought a suitable place to safely preserve for posterity the records, photographs, biographies, antiques and other matters of historical interest of the Early Birds.
     The first person of whom I thought in this regard was Mr. Edsel Ford, who at the time was attending the California-Pacific International Exposition at San Diego. Notwithstanding this I called Mr. Ford by long distance and outlined to him at length our desire. He expressed interest in our proposed undertaking and requested that I contact him upon his return to Detroit. This, of course, I did, and found him interested in the idea in connection with the Edison Institute Museum at Dearborn, Michigan.
In addition to Mr. Edsel Ford, I have also conferred with Mr. Henry Ford and Mr. Fred L. Black, the latter of whom is an old-time flyer and therefore, keenly interested in aviation. Mr. Edsel Ford's interest in aviation, particularly in the developement and manufacturing fields, is well-known to us all.
     Shortly after my interview with Mr. Ford, I thought it desirable to appoint a committee to facilitate the accomplishment of our purpose. Believing that this committee should be composed of men readily available at all times, I named the following to comprise what I chose to designate the "Museum Committee"; Mr. Frederick A. Hoover as chairman, Major George E. A. Hallett and Mr. Walter Lees. Our organization is fortunate in being able to interest Mr. Ford in this work, and we all should be willing to lend every cooperation possible toward carrying this undertaking through to a successful conclusion.
     The very nature of our organization demands that no further delay be permitted in commencing the work we have undertaken. The qualifications of our membership definitely preclude its ever increasing to any degree. It might be termed a "last man's organization." Some day there will be but one of us left. For this reason if we hope to succeed in this undertaking we must, without delay, make every effort to accumulate all the data possible bearing on the activities of early flyers.
     I have taken advantage of the fact that I am myself a newspaper publisher and am seeking the aid of my fellow publishers throughout the country. On February 25 addressed publishers in 117 localities where Early Birds reside, soliciting their assistance in the gathering of this data. Up to this time I have received sixty-seven replies signifying not only their willingness but their desire to aid in this work.
     On page 2 of this issue of the Chirp is published a questionnaire which is being sent to each publisher who has signified his desire to co-operate with us. I ask that each of you carefully read this questionnaire and acquaint yourself with the manner in which the various questions should be answered so that you may be somewhat prepared, rather than having the questions put to you "cold." Undoubtedly it would be of great assistance to the newspapers and, incidentally, save them considerable expense if you would call the Managing Editor of the paper in your district and make an appointment with its representative. It might even be possible to call at the newspaper office in order to save their sending a representative to see you.
     Each and every one of you has, no doubt, had some unusual or outstanding experience. It is this information we desire.
     A great many of our members, and also countless others who possessed qualifications for membership but never became affiliated with our, or any like organization, have "flown West." It will be somewhat difficult to prepare biographies of these men, but it is my purpose to compile as complete a record as possible, so that their names and deeds may not be forgotten.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
June, 1936

George E. A. Hallett
A-1 in flight - San Diego harbor, 1911
From WALDO: Pioneer Aviator
     Colonel Hallett was introduced as "Mr. OX-5, and experimental engineer on the original A-1." George contrasted the working conditions for the A-1 projects of 1911 with those of 1961; a dirt-floored shed versus concrete-floored hangars, and make-do methods versus the finest equipment and materials. He described the first attempts by Curtiss to fly from the water when he used Fabre-type floats which were square-shaped pontoons such as were used by Henri Fabre in France when that pioneer achieved the first takeoffs from water. With Curtiss, those floats plowed ponderously through the water, and to prevent them from burrowing under, Curtiss attached several hydrofoils and water vanes in front. Other boards and outriggers were added but finally, said George, "that weird contraption really got up and flew." George praised the designing skill of Curtiss who, after a day of tests with that hatrack-like rig, went to his room in Coronado and sketched the next rectangular float which was built in the Baker Machine Company where George was employed. That float was made of spruce planking, "and when we put that pontoon under the plane, after a few minor adjustments to get it placed correctly longitudinally, the plane flew well, and that was really the first Curtiss hydroaeroplane."
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
June, 1936

George E. A. Hallett
Collection of Ron Leverenz, 6-16-09

     If you search for "George Hallett +aviation", using Google, (8-17-03), you will find about 19 links. One which doesn't appear, but which is well worth a visit, is the following.
Curtiss H-1
     "The Curtiss H-1 flying boat America, which was built, in 1914, for Rodman Wanamaker, to be used for an attempted non-stop transatlantic crossing, which the London Daily Mail newspaper had offered a £10,000 prize for. This flight, which was abandoned with the start of World War I, was going to have one American crewmember, who was George Hallett, and one British crewmember, who was Lieutenant John Cyrill Porte and the pilot of the aircraft."
Photo and text courtesy of Roy Nagl

Editor's Note: This beautiful photograph is only one among many which are available on Roy's website, "Ancient Seaplanes." You will be well rewarded by visiting the site and viewing the many other outstanding entries. You may notice that it is only one of the very many which Roy has graciously shared with us and which have so greatly enriched this website over the years.
     This page, which is found on the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum website, offers a comprehensive and detailed history of the plane.
"The Felixstowe F series flying boats were a joint British and American development during the First World War. The British Felixstowe F-5, and the American-built version, the Felixstowe F-5-L, were the final and best of the series produced during the war. The F-5-L was operational in the last months of the war, but made its principal contribution after the war, and continued in U.S. Navy service until 1928."
     You will find a brief mention of George Hallett within a fascinating story of the development of the "America." You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
McCOOK FIELD DAYS (1917-1927).
     This page, which is found on the Air Force Research Laboratory website, offers an engaging history of the McCook Field and includes many fine photographs, one being a very nice picture of Major George Hallett who founded the Power Plant Section. You can access the page by clicking on the title above.
Recommended Further Reading:
Waldo : Pioneer Aviator
A Personal History of American Aviation

George Hallett
     This envelope which originated from the NEWARK METROPOLITAN AIRPORT, NEWPORT, NEW JERSEY, OPENING UNION-PASSENGER TERMINAL, FEB 4, 1931 and was signed by EB Geo. E. A. Hallett, is postmarked FEB 4, 1931.
It has been donated through the courtesy of Stéphane Sebile.

George E. A. Hallett was born in 1890
He died in 1982
Birthdate courtesy of Joe Gertler
Date of death from The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP
November 1961, Number 67

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