The Aeronautic Society of New York  
       PROBABLY few young societies have encountered greater difficulties than those
that have been beset The Aeronautic Society since its commencement. But the enthu-
siasm and perseverance of the members have carried the Society through. From
its conception it was pursued by outside animosity. From its beginning it seemed to be
dogged by ill-luck. But its whole-hearted persistence and splendid unanimity have won
out for it its present position of strength, and gained for it a public recognition that has
been none the less hearty because it was tardy in coming.
     There is, perhaps, no more inspiring and interesting feature in the story of the Society
than this, that its success has been attained against great obstacles, and entirely by its own
efforts, and through the unanimous devotion of its members to the glorious ideal of each
doing his utmost for the service of all and the progress of the art. That bond has been the
keynote throughout.
     In a large measure, possibly, this has been due to the democratic constitution of the
Society, which has allowwed every member a full share in the management, a full knowledge
at the weekly meetings, of all that was being done in the affairs of the Society, a full and
free opportunity to discuss any and every point before it was settled, every act before
decision was taken, to bring up any proposal, to express any opinion, and has made the
Diredtors the officers of the members to carry out whatever the members wished, and not
their masters to dominate over their wills.
     Partly also this success has sprung from the fact that the spirit of the Society is as
democratic as its constitution. The Aeronautic Society is composed of a body of enthusiastic
workers bound together by one great object, and moved by one great ideal. It has within its
ranks the man of wealth, the scientist, the professional man, the mechanic. But the honor of
its success lies not with one class, but with all, and as amuch with any one as with
another. It owes no hollow glory to the distant recognition of men of gigantic wealth, or to
association with great money-laden names. It wears before the world no false halo of
magnificence and importance due to a skilful engineering of the Press. The success that
it has has been built up on the sure foundation of mutual help, has been won by genuine
work and effort; and the cost has been shared in by all.
     What some of the difficulties overecome have been will be outlined in these pages, that
their vanquishment may inspire other young societies to perseverance. There have been
others; but they were of no general or useful interest, and, therefore, do not call for detail
here. The Society's position at this time is the best possible comment. It is unnecessary
to say more. Puerile ineptitude and jealous vanity, while doing nothing themselves,
except to attempt to bedeck themselves with honor seized from the achievements of
others, will ever find no paltriness too mean, and no contemptibleness to unworthy, to
resort to in their futile efforts to cripple the men who do things. But is is, also, ever the
men who do things, and do them with honest purpose, who will out. And those who win
can bury much in silence and forgetfulness.
  THE initial steps in founding the Aeronautic Society were made on June 10th, 1908
Of the fifty who answered the call to consider the formation of such an organization
no fewer than foty became members that first evening. That spirited beginning told
very thoroughly the pleasurable pastime of ballooning, had been working upon aviation problems, and
endeavoring to move into some useful action the body of which they were members, and
which had, supposedly, been formed for such purpos as well as mere ballooning. But, so
soon as they started, they found their effortsd smothered by a cold, wet blanket of official
objection. When they attempted to persevere, they were promptly stopped. The power that
ruled that organizatino did not then believe in aviation. It might be considered by members
as an interesting topic to talk about-something much on the same plane as the probable
transport service on the canals in Mars, or the possibility of intercollegiate courses with

Home     Contents Next Page