Edson F. Gallaudet
Edson F. Gallaudet
from Justin Gruelle's mural The Early Birds
Reproduced from TRACES of Indiana and Midwestern History
Courtesy of Indiana Historical Society

For the complete story, click on Mural

via email
from Thomas H. Gallaudet III
grandson of Edson Gallaudet
Thank you for the nice message. I was unaware of the mural and will investigate it on your site.
My Grandfather was truly way ahead of his time and certainly a free thinker. If you go to the areo files page you will find pictures of the Gallaudet D-4 which was a sea plane with the engines inside the fuselage and just the efficient part propeller tips mounted on a rotating drum amidships behind the pilot. This plane was designed for the Navy and there were very few pilots that would fly it because it was so fast.
Before moving to La Quinta, I lived in Middlebury, VT and met Middlebury's oldest veteran who asked me if I was related to Edson Gallaudet... I said "Sure, he's my brother". Dr Freeman said maybe your grandfather and I said yes... It turns out that Dr. Freeman was a Navy pilot during WWI and flew the Gallaudet D-4 - small world...
My Grandfather also had a working jet engine in the early 1920s and was credited with inventing the "gut" strung tennis racket.
My Grandfather also had US pilot's license #2 and a French pilot's license #32 (I'm not sure why he had a French license except that some early pioneers were French).
My Grandmother also had a pilot's license and was one of the first women to fly. Although my Grandfather died a year before I was born, my grandmother lived to the age of 98 and would tell stories about strapping her skirts down while flying - I guess women just didn't wear pants for any reason back then (1910+/-).
Good luck with your site...
Tom Gallaudet
La Quinta, California USA

Wealthy Amateur Aviator Is Injured
Edson F. Gallaudet Falls Hundred Feet With His Machine
Chattanooga, Tennessee, July 25, 1912,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 8-24-05
Hempstead, N.Y.,July 24. - Edson F. Gallaudet, a wealthy amateur aviator, while flying at Hempstead Plains today fell with his machine from a height of 100 feet. He was seriously hurt.
      Mr. Gallaudet, who is well known in banking and social circles, had been successfully flying about the field, and rose to make another flight. When about 100 feet in the air he made an acute right turn and his monoplane, evidently lacking sufficient momentum, dropped, burying its nose in the ground. Mr. Gallaudet was driven full speed to a hospital. It was found that he had received a severe scalp wound, a deep cut on the chin and left eye, and his right leg was so badly cut that an artery was severed. Mr. Gallaudet had been working for some time on his new monoplane, which is of the Neuport type, with three rear controls.
     Filip A. Bjorklund was the test pilot for the Gallaudet D-1 and he also was an instructor in the C-1 and C-2. You can see two beautiful photographs of the D-1 from the collection of Rick Bjorklund by clicking in the title above.

     If you search the net using Google on Edson F. Gallaudet, you will find about five links. Among the most helpful are the following.

    This website, which is built and maintained by his grandson, Thomas H. Gallaudet III, is a good place to start. On it you will find a brief, but interesting biography and a link to the AeroFiles site where you will find a complete listing of his many aeroplanes, many of which are illustrated. To access the page, just click on the title above.

     On this website of Caroll Gray you will find a brief biography and several photographs of his airplane, the Hydro Bike. In addition, you will find several important links. To access his page, just click on the title above. While on the site, be sure to visit the many other sections.

Gallaudet D4
Collection of Roy Nagl, 12-10-03
Ancient Aviators
       Roy has recommended this page on Holcomb's Aerodrome website which offers an extensive collection of photographs of the D-4. To access the page, click on:
Gallaudet D-4

     If time permits, I think you will enjoy a visit to the homepage by clicking on the title above.
Edson F. Gallaudet died in 1945

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

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