Encouraged by the success of its previous ventures, particularly those of 1910, the Aero Club of St. Louis decided to stage two air meets in 1911. Although the city's aviation fame came from free ballooning, both tournaments would concentrate on heavier-than-air craft, in keeping with the latest developments in aviation.
The star of the meet was to be Walter Brookins. A number of other aviators were scheduled to appear at the Fairgrounds; Andrew Drew and Tom Benoist of St. Louis, John D. Cooper, Charles Zornes, Sax Ganz, C.O. Prowse, and Hillery Beachey, the brother of Toledo aeronaut who had flown dirigibles in St. Louis in 1907 and 1909. In addition, several pupils from Tom Benoist's flying school intended to exhibit their fledgling talents; Harry Rafferty, John Woodlief, Alfred Boullet, B.N. Elsk, and Charles Griffin. Contests for rapid starting, speed, altitude, target bombing, and accurate landing were planned, as well as the usual aerobatics by all participants.
The Aero Club of St. Louis scheduled a broader tournament for October 14-21 at Kinloch Park, its permanent aviation field. On September 5, 1911, Albert Bond Lambert signed an agreement with A. Roy Knabenshue, manager of the Wright Company, whereby the Wrights would supply three pilots and biplanes in return for 25 perecent of the gross receipts of the meet. The three aviators -- Howard Gill, J. Clifford Turpin, and P.O. Parmelee -- were to fly every day but October 15, because of the rule of the Wright Company against Sunday flights. Also entered were Dr. Henry Walden of Mineola, Long Island, with his picturesque Antoinette monoplane; Amedee V. Rayburn Jr. of St. Louis with his Bleriot monoplane; Horace Kearney and John D. Cooper of St. Louis with Wright biplanes; George Beatty; and Walter Brookins.
The History of Aviation in St. Louis
I am pursuing the possibility that the Charles Griffin, mentioned in the article above, may be the same person who is identifed as the originator of "Griffin's Aeronautical Series." I will try to contact Michael Cole on whose website are cited two books of the series.
A selection of fine, old and rare aviation books
published prior to 1940.
You may use your "Find" tool on "Charles Griffin"
If you have any information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper