Charles K. Hamilton
L'aviatore americano Hamilton, che viaggiÚ da
Nova York a Filadelfia e viceversa in velivolo.

The American aviator Hamilton, who traveled from
New York to Philadelphia and back by aircraft.

(The Italian Illustration, an Italian weekly magazine)
July 3 1910:
Collection of Giovanni Giorgetti, 6-30-07
  Ed ecco un appaluditissimo trionfatore dell'aria, l'aviatore americano Hamilton, che il 13 giugno compž perfettamente il viaggio di andata da Nova York a Filadelfia, e il giorno dopo, con una sola sosta a pochi chilometri da Nova York compž quello di ritorno, guadagnando 50000 franchi destinati a tale gara dalla stampa novajorkese.

And here the triumphant conqueror of the air, the American aviator Hamilton, who on June 13 completed perfectly the journey from New York to Philadelphia, and the day after, with only a brief stop near New York, made the return journey, earning the 50,000 francs donated for this race by the New York press.
Photo, text and translation courtesy of Giovanni Giorgetti

Charles K. Hamilton's flight
Newsclipping transcribed by Jean Kolva, 12-1-06
     On June 13, 1910, Charles K. Hamilton accomplished quite a feat: he made the first round trip airplane flight between New York City and Philadelphia, then considered a great distance. The leading newspapers in those cities sponsored the prize-winning achievement and Hamilton conveyed messages from one newspaper to the other. Taking off from Governorís Island in New York harbor at 7:30 am, he flew over New Brunswick at 8:14 and was met with factory whistles, firebells, and shouts from thousands of spectators. While directly over the New Brunswick train station, Hamilton dropped leaflets that read, "The New York Times and Philadelphia Ledger Peace Bombs dropped from Hamiltonís aeroplane-New York to Philadelphia round trip flight, June 1910." Moving at 45 miles per hour, he disappeared quickly over the cityís horizon. Hamilton landed in Philadelphia at 9:26 am.
     A special train followed Hamiltonís progress all along the Pennsylvania Railroadís main line. On the return trip, an even larger crowd greeted Hamilton at New Brunswick when he passed over at 12:35 pm. Hamilton flew lower to the ground than his initial passover and New Brunswick photographer Isaac Vandeveer was on the Albany Street Bridge to take a photograph of the plane and train crossing the Raritan River. When over Metuchen, Hamilton ended up following a different railroad line and due to mechanical problems, he looked for a safe place to land. Seeing what appeared to be a fine, smooth field below him, Hamilton alighted in South Amboy along the Raritan River. He needed help to free his machine from the mud. After waiting some hours for replacment parts brought from his base at Governorís Island, Hamilton took off once again and successfully completed his record-breaking flight and won $10,000.
     The flight was so successful, that following summer of 1911, the Gimbel Brothers offered a $5,000 prize to the fastest racer who would fly from their New York store to their branch store in Philadelphia. Three aviators took part in the race: Lincoln Beachey, Hugh Robinson, and Eugene Ely, who flew in Charles K. Hamiltonís plane. Due to mechanical troubles, Ely did not finish the race, which Beachey won as he reached Philadelphia in two hours, 22 minutes, and 25 seconds.
     Robinson, one of the flyers, actually landed in Highland Park, just behind Robert Wood Johnson, Jr.ís estate house on River Road because his fuel supply was low. Spectators raced to the site of the landed metal and canvas aircraft. James Donaldson made a ten-minute round trip to the nearest gas supplier and back. Robinson took off from the Johnson farm after many helpful spectators cleared a swatch of land creating an ad hoc runway. Robinson finished the race to Philadelphia, however, in second place.
Charles K. Hamilton
Taken on June 13, 1910, at Governors Island, NYC,
at the time of his round trip flight to Philadelphia
Library of Congress Collection, 12-2-06
Caption by Colin Green, 12-29-04

Charles K. Hamilton
Washington Park, El Paso, Texas
Feb. 1910
Photo courtesy of Mel Brown, 1-11-06

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 Charles K. Hamilton, Nels J. Nelson, Frank Payne, George F. Smith, Peter Dion, Howard S. Bunce, Christopher Lake, 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.
     The faint beginnings of an industry occurred at New Britain when Nelson built, flew and sold several Curtiss-type airplanes between 1911 and 1914. A dozen or more obscure persons in New Britain feverishly rushed construction of airplanes mostly of their own designs. None could surpass Hamilton and Nelson in flying skill or Nelson in construction. The promise of an aviation industry at New Britain faded when Nelson and his partner, Aaron Cohen, failed to win a U.S. Government contract to build Nelson-designed airplanes.
This excerpt is 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.

Charles K. Hamilton
Charles K. Hamilton
Collection of Terry Falk, 3-2-05

Charles K. Hamilton
Charles K. Hamilton
Collection of Terry Falk, 3-2-05

Charles K. Hamilton

Appalachian Exposition
     On November 8, 2005, I received an email message from Ben Humphries offering information and photographs regarding an aeroplane which had been a feature of the Appalachian Exposition in 1910. Although I am no historian, I did finally decide that the unidentified flyer was probably Charles K. Hamilton. To read the complete story, click on the title above. If you can help us with the identification of the flyer and his aeroplane, please contact me.

Charles K. Hamilton
Library of Congress Collection, 12-2-06

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