A. Holland Forbes
A. Holland Forbes
Library of Congress Collection, 12-1-06

Air Transportation and the Development of the
Aviation Industry in Connecticut
     In Connecticut, as throughout the rest of the country, the flying fever gripped the imaginations of men - men such as Frank Payne Nels J. Nelson, Charles K. Hamilton, George F. Smith, Peter Dion, Howard S. Bunce, A. Holland Forbes, Percival Spencer, and others.
     Hamilton of New Britain was the first. Chucking his dirigible, he learned to fly airplanes under the great Glenn H. Curtiss in late 1909 and within six months his daring flight exhibitions throughout the United States made him perhaps the best known America flyer at that time. When on July 2, 1910 Hamilton returned to his hometown, New Britain, to show the home folks what flying was like, he was already a popular idol. An estimated 50,000 people gathered at New Britain to watch him make the first public flight in the State. Soon New Britain and Bridgeport became the centers of aviation in the State...
A. Holland Forbes
A. Holland Forbes
Library of Congress Collection, 12-1-06
       Meanwhile, at Bridgeport, much flying and experimentation took place but little manufacturing. The leading lights were Christopher Lake, (son of Simon Lake of submarine fame), A. Holland Forbes and Stanley Yale Beach. Wealthy balloonist Forbes organized the Aero Club of Connecticut and wrote the basic draft for the first aeronautical law in the United States, passed by the Connecticut Legislature and signed into law by Governor Simeon Baldwin on June 8, 1911, and was appointed Connecticut’s first Commissioner of Aeronautics. This was a feeble first step to regulate public safety in a form of transportation which hardly existed. Lake experimented with jet propulsion in aircraft from 1909 to 1918. Beach sponsored Gustave Whitehead and played around with several projects, none of which produced anything of real technical value.
These two excerpts are from a paper presented by
Harvey Lippincott in 1977
at the Meeting of
the Association for the Study of Connecticut History.
It is made available through the courtesy of

I highly recommed that you visit this site.
It is a treasure of articles and photos for fans of aviation.

Arthur Holland Forbes was born 17 Jan 1863 and died 22 Dec 1927, New York City. Funeral was held at St Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Park Avenue. Burial location unknown.
Publisher of The Architect Suc-
cumbs After an Operation---
Won Fame as a Balloonist
     A. Holland Forbes of 277 Park Avenue, President of the Forbes Publishing Company, editor and publisher of The Architect, died suddenly yesterday in Murray Hill Hospital, following an operation. He was 64 year old. He left a wife, Jessica Livingston Wetmore Forbes, and two married daughters, Mrs. F. Paul de Aguilar and Mrs. William Nelson, the latter a daughter of an earlier marriage. Funeral services will be held in St. Bartholomew's Church, Park Avenue and Fifty-first Street, at 2 P. M. Tuesday.
     About twenty years ago Mr. Forbes was internationally known as a balloonist. In October, 1909, accompanied by Max C. Fleischmann of Cincinnati, he won the Lahm Cup offered by the Aero Club of America for the longest flight made in the United States during the year. The balloon, The New York, covered 731 miles in 19 1/4 hours. In the same balloon Mr. Forbes had previously won the duration contest at Indianapolis.
     On at least two occasions Mr Forbes had a narrow escape. At the Berlin races in October, 1908, while aloft in The Conqueror, with Augustus Post, the gas bag caught fire and the balloon fell rapidly. Fortunately, the torn bag formed a sort of parachute that enabled the men to escape with bad shake-ups. In May, 1910, Mr. Forbes and C. Carrington Yates landed on a farm in Green County, Ky., almost unconscious from the effects of high altitude and the hard landing. Their balloon, The Viking, was said to be the largest in the world at the time. It had a gas capacity of 85,000 cubic feet. Mr. Forbes was formerly Vice President of the Aero Club of America and he continued an active member of the club, retaining to the last his keen interest in all forms of aviation. He also belonged to the New York Yach Club and the National Golf Links.
Obituary from the NY Times Saturday, 24 Dec 1927
Kindly supplied by Alexander P. Scott

Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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