. Harmon
Clifford B. Harmon at the Belmont Meet
from the Elbridge Engines booklet
Courtesy of John Stewart, 12-4-06

Clifford B. Harmon
C. Harmon Just Before The Wreck
Photo Courtesy of Roy Nagl
Ancient Aviators Website

Clifford Harmon
Charles Chaplin, John Philip Sousa, Clifford B. Harmon
Library oc Congress Collection, 8-11-10

Harmon Trophy
Alexander de Seversky and the
The Harmon International Trophy Story
"In 1926 Clifford B. Harmon, a wealthy sportsman and aviator, established three international trophies to be awarded annually to the world's outstanding aviator, aviatrix, and aeronaut. A fourth trophy was later created to honor achievements in space flight. The Harmon Trophy--the aviator's award--is given for the most outstanding international achievements in the preceding year, with the art of flying receiving first consideration. The 24" bronze statue was sculpted by the Balkan Princess Roumanbona M'Divani
The original aviators trophy was given to the Smithsonian Institute in 1950, but with the recent acquisition of the original artist's casting by the Pylon Club, this stately award is now available to the public, in a limited edition of 50 copies
Editor's Note: To visit the homepage of the Pylon Club and read the rest of the very interesting story about the trophy, which is illustrated with a number of beautiful photographs, click on the title above.

The United States was slower than France in issuing pilot's licenses and establishing the rules under which they could be granted. Regulations published in 1910 stated: "All candidates shall satisfy the officials of the Aero Club of America of their ability to fly at least five hundred yards, and of their capability of making a gliding descent with the engine stopped, before their applications will be entertained. Up to the time of Belmont Park, twenty-five such licenses had been issued . The first nine of these were as follows:
Aero Club of America
  1. Glenn Curtiss
2. Frank P. Lahm
3. Louis Paulhan
4. Orville Wright
5. Wilbur Wright
6. Clifford B. Harmon
7. Thomas S. Baldwin
8. J. Armstrong Drexel
9. Todd Shriver
Curtiss biplane and motor
Wright biplane and motor
H. Farman biplane
Gnôme motor
Wright biplane and motor
Wright biplane and motor
H. Farman biplane
Gnôme motor
Curtiss biplane and motor
Blériot monoplane,
Gnôme motor
Curtiss biplane and motor

On July 5, 1889, a petition to incorporate St. Louis as a town was drawn up, and two days later it received 80 signatures out of a possible 101 of the "taxable inhabitants." Elections were held, a municipal government was established, and the incorporation was formally enacted on November 9, 1909. The 100th anniversary of this event was celebrated from October 3 to October 9, 1909 -- Centennial Week. The St. Louis Centennial Association, of which Mayor Frederick H. Kreismann was president and Walter B Stevens secretary, directed the program for the entire week. The officials planned parades, luncheons, banquets, balls, concerts, receptions, naval demonstrations, and aerial activities. This last item was to be the hightlight of the week. St. Louis would witness balloon races, dirigible maneuvers, and for the first time in its history, sustained airplane flight.
     On October 11, A. Holland Forbes, acting president of the Aero Club of America, and Max C. Fleischmann, former mayor of Cincinatti, arrived in the city for the purpose of making a trial flight for the Lahm Cup in the New York, which Forbes owned jointly with Clifford B. Harmon. Although a number of the balloonists had had trouble with the entrance and notification requirements during the previous week, Forbes, the acting Aero Club president, was worry free: "All I have to do to register for the Lahm Cup is to hand myself a dollar." The New York left the Rutger Street gas plant at 5:35 p.m. October 12, 1909 and succeeded in its venture. A. Holland Forbes broke Charles Chandler's standing record of 473.56 miles, established in a flight from St. Louis in 1907, and he also eliminated the claims of H.E. Honeywell, S. Louis Von Phul, and H.H. McGill. The New York traveled 697.17 miles to twenty miles south of Richmond, Virginia, in 19 hours and 15 minutes to win the Lahm Cup.

Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: June 29, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 9-22-03
     "Clifford B. Harmon, in a Farman biplane, sailed thirty-one times around the course at Mineola, L.I. tonight, remaining aloft one hour and five minutes, covering approximately forty-five miles and establishing what is believed to be a new amateur record for duration."
Bob Davis
Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: July 3, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 9-24-03
     "New York - (no date so with a photo it must refer to a day or so ago) Mr. Clifford B. Harmon electrified a large crowd at the Garden City Aviation Field by making a continuous flight of more than an hour and five minutes in his Farman bi-plane, in which time he covered about sixty-eight miles. The last rounds were made in darkness. All afternoon the wind was unfavorable for flying, but about half-past six o'clock it died down to a perfect calm and Mr. Harmon decided to take his machine out for a few rounds. The enginehad been put through a series of tests during the afternoon and was in perfect order. During the first few rounds of the course, Mr. Harmon, feeling out his machine, went only to a height of about forty feet, but when the mechanical bird responded to his every direction he rose to a height of more than one hundred feet, which he maintained for the remainder of his aerial journey."
Bob Davis

Daily Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: July 3, 1910,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 9-24-03
     "New York, July 2. - "Although an amateur, Clifford B. Harmon broke all American records for length of time in the air in a continuous aeroplane flight at Mineola, L. I., this evening. He remained aloft in a Curtiss bi-plane for two hours and three minutes and only descended when his supply of gasoline became exhausted. The best previous record for duration of flight was one hour and fifty-eight minutes and thirty-two seconds, made by Louis Paulhan at Los Angeles in January last."
Bob Davis

Contributed by John Stewart, 12-4-06
     The Elbridge Engine Co. produced a 21 page booklet, ca 1910-1911, which reviews the accomplishments of the pioneer aviators in the early days. They give special attention to the many aviators who flew aeroplanes which were powered by their own engines, but included information on many of the other aviators of the era. You will find many familiar names are discussed in the text, including that of Clifford Harmon, but will also be introduced to many more who are either unknown or forgotten. You will also find many illustrations of aviators and aeroplanes which have been included to enhance the descriptions.
     You can access the booklet by clicking on the title above.

     If you search for "Clifford B. Harmon +aviation" using the Google search engine, (9-18-05), you will find about 156 links!Several of the most helpful are seen below.
Clifford B. Harmon, Developer of Pelhamwood
     You can access the page by clicking on the title above.

     This page is primarily devoted to the story of the Aero Club of New England and you will find only a brief mention of Clifford, along with several other pioneers. However, the history of the club is very interesting in its own right and I think you will enjoy reading it. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

Hello. My name is Michael Jarvis and I'm doing research for a film director. We're trying to find the name and information on a balloonist who crashed in a balloon on a farm near Villonia in Faulkner County, Arkansas with Clifford B. Harmon sometime in the 1920s. The man's name was Oce. It could have been his last name or first. I already have information on Harmon. Any information that could help me ASAP would be greatly appreciated. Or if you know of someone who might know.
Michael T. Jarvis
Dear Michael: The only source I have is from the book City of Flight by James J. Horgan. It includes nine references to Harmon, but no mention of the crash or of Oce.
Sorry I can't help..You probably need the info ASAP, but if you wish, I will add your email request to his page, so as to invite my visitors to help with your search.. Even if any response would be too late for your needs, I would love to add your information to his page, for the enjoyment of my visitors. Please let me know if you will permit me to do this..
Good luck,
Ralph S. Cooper
Yes Ralph, that would be fine. This is all the information I could find. I'm assuming that Clifford Harmon is the right man because how many people named Harmon would be flying balloons in Arkansas in the 1920s? This research is ongoing and it's never too late to find out the answer. Please let me know if you hear anything and I appreciate the prompt response. Here's the info request:
I'm trying to find the name and information on two balloonists who landed in a balloon on a farm near Vilonia in Faulkner County, Arkansas sometime in the 1920s. I believe one of the men was Clifford B. Harmon The other man's name was Oce. It could have been his last name or first. I already have information on Harmon. Please relay any info to
Thanks again Ralph

City of Flight
City of Flight : The History of Aviation...
The History of Aviation in St. Louis
by James J. Horgan
The Patrice Press.

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