|The Aeronautic Society of New York|
THE rapid progress of work at the Park, and the nearness of the grounds to the
city, together with their great fitness for the holding of an exhibition, suggested to
the Society that is should give a public exhitition, and try to do itself what it had
been prevented from doing when it started to make arrangements for the visit of Leon
Delagrange. The day of the Presidential election, Nov. 3rd, was chosen as the date.
It was estimated that more than 20,000 persons were present. The crowd proved so
unexpectedly large that it was unmanageable, and where it did not absolutely prevent the
events from taking place, it caused accidents, one of which was very serious.
But the time was yet too early. This was the first exhibition of the sort ever arranged,
and the art was not quite ready for it. None of the full-sized machines were completed
in time, though it had been promised they wold be: and accidents, both before and on
the day, either made impossible, or marred, many of the events prepared for the program.
But withal, a very remarkable display of original apparatus was made, even without making
allowance for the circumstance that it was all the work of only a few weeks. it is also
worthy of remembrance that this first exhibition which the world had ever seen was a
financial success, thought only a small proportion of the 20,000 visitors passed through the
turnstiles. During the year that the racetrack had lain unused most of its fences had been
broken down. The payment for admission proved a matter of almost Quixotic courtesy.
Mr. Kimball was not able to get his helicopter finished for an actual trial. C. W.
Williams had installed in his monoplane a 7 h. p. engine just to show the movement and
principle of his machine. The Beach-Whitehead aeroplane was not finished in time either
Still there were three machines which illustrated completely the three different lines
upon which all inventors are still working, the biplane, monoplane, and helicopter. Indeed
they went even further. For the Beach-Whitehead apparatus also suggested the possibility
of a new line, the combination of the long body of the monoplane with the double surfaces
of the biplane. As such, they constituted a very striking and worthy exhibition.
Hardly any of the public at that time knew what a glider was. To-day such a display