Arnold Hopf
Arnold Hopf
Before he Went to Brazil
Collection of Cliff Hope, 12-10-07

via email from Cliff Hopf, 10-26-07
Dear Mr. Cooper,
      I enjoyed very much your article on Antonio Augusto Schorcht. It reminded me of a mystery that I have been trying to solve for many years. My grandfather's uncle, Arnold Hopf, was a balloonist in Germany, and my grandfather said that Arnold took up airplane flying sometime between 1905 and 1910. He moved to Rio de Janeiro during that time and had a watchmaking and jewelry store in the city; I still have his business card.
      My grandfather who lived in Chicago at the time said that in 1911, the family received word that Arnold had died in an airplane crash. No further information could be obtained.
      Do you know who might have further information on Arnold?
      Thank you for your time in reading my letter.
Best regards,
Cliff Hopf
Arnold Hopf
Arnold Hopf
Said to have been an accomplished zither player.
Collection of Cliff Hope, 12-10-07

Arnold Hopf's Card

via email from Cliff Hopf, 11-11-07
Dear Ralph,
     Thank you very much for your interest. I finally located Arnold's business card and will send it as an attachment. It's pretty beat up, being almost 100 years old and having been torn up and thrown away. Luckily my grandfather, as a young man, retrieved it from the trash and taped it back together. I also have a photo of Arnold before he moved to Brazil. Arnold Hopf was born 1877 in the small Village of Exten, near Rinteln in Westfalen, Germany. He was the son of a Banker, Hugo Hopf and wife Anna Heinz. At an early age, Arnold was sent out as a watchmaker's apprentice, and after serving for several years in that capacity he was able to start his own business. In those days, in order for one to pass the apprenticeship, he first had to build an entire watch from raw material.
      According to my late grandfather, Arnold was kind of a thrill seeker and adventurer. He got into motorcycle racing sometime near the turn of the century. I don't know if these were organized races or not. supposedly on one such road race two children ran out into the road and he hit them, killing them both and injuring himself quite badly. About this time, he was also involved in hot air balloon racing which got him interested in airplane flight.
      Arnold had a store in Amsterdam, Holland in the very early 1900s. Sometime after 1904 I believe, he left his wife and son and moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Nothing is known about his life after that except for my grandfather's parents receiving word from Brazil of Arnold's death as a result of a plane crash.
      No family member has ever gone to Brazil to try to locate a death record, newspaper article, or cemetery plot although I am tempted to if I knew where to go for information.
      I will send his picture in a future email.
Thank you again,

     If you search for "Arnold Hopf", using the Google search engine, (11-12-07), you may not find any relevant links at this time.

Arnold Hopf was reported to have died in Brazil in 1911.
Personal communication from Cliff Hopf, 11-12-07.
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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