|The Aeronautic Society of New York|
paid for it. Meanwhile Mr. Shneider, undaunted, started a third machine, this time buiilding
to carry the motor, which the Society had by that time purchased, and which was four times
the weight of the one he had originally designed for. The result was all but a disaster.
One evening in July Mr. Shneider took out his new machine and was launched from
the catapult. The moment it arose in the air it collapsed. The engine was too heavy. The
group of members watching stood for a second spellbound with horror. The whole of
the apparatus, after doubling up on itself V-shaped, crashed down in a heap just off
the end of the monorail. The thud of the heavy motor as it struck the ground was heard
amid the splintering of the timbers. Shneider had gone up sitting beside the motor. It
was feared that he had fallen beneath it, and could not but be killed or terribly injured,
but Mr. Shneider crawled out from beneath the mass of wreckage, smiling and absolutely
Within a week Mr. Shneider had started on his fourth machine. For it so happened
that the day following his escape came the news that the makers of the rotary motor he
had bought would return the $1,000.
ITtook some little time to get the by-laws drawn up, and then get them back from the
printer; but they were ready by the opening of the New Year. For the protection of
members the Society had been incorporated under the Business Corporation Act. But
the by-laws were framed to combine all the advantages of a membership corporation.
On Feb. 3rd, 1909, the first Annual meeting was held, and the elections resulted in the
selection of the flollowing officers: President, Lee S. Burridge; Vice-Presidents, Louis
R. Adams, Wm. J. Hammer and Roger B. Whitman; Treasurer, Dr. Wm. Greene; Secre-
tary, Wilbur R. Kimball; other Directors, Orrel A. Parker, A. B. Levy, E. L. Jones,
A. C. Triaca, R. E. Scott, and Dr. Julian P. Thomas.
Some time later Mr. Whitman resigned his directorship because he found himself very
much out of town. Thomas A. Hill was elected to fill his place. Mr. Triaca also resigned,
and the vacant place was filled by C. F. Blackmore.
BY way of starting the New Year well, the Society took what was in itself a very
noteworthy step, and one, which, as events turned out, was to have a very far-
reaching result. Its importance in itself was felt, at any rate to some extent, at
the time. But few of the little group, who took part, imagined that by the opening of
another year the big cities of all America would be in competition for the great Interna-
tional Aviation Meeting, which was to be held in this country as the consequence of what
the Society was then doing.
It was felt that, in addition to the individual work of its various members, the Society
should, as a body, do something itself on a still wider scale. To do something that would
create a more general interest in the art was the great object that was sought. After dis-
cussion as to what form this should take, it was agreed that to give a commission to
someone who had actually made flights and oculd guarantee by past performances to build
a machine that would fly at the Society's summer exhibition was the proper step to take.
Glenn H. Curtiss had at this time, had a hand in the building of four machines, all
of which had flown. Among them, the "June Bug" was known to be of Curtiss' own
designing, and it was the most successful of the four. Curtiss was therefore chosen as
the most worthy of receiving the Society's encouragement, and the most likely to turn out
something good. On Jan. 21st, 1909, a contract was made with Curtiss, and $500 was given
to him on signing the contract; and he was to hafe a total of $5,000. At Mr. Curtiss'