AKA Edmund R. Hutchinson & Prof. Hutchinson

Edmund Rane Hutchison
From Elmira Star-Gazette, 12 April 1950
Courtesy of Tim M. Jacobs

Courtesy of Tim M. Jacobs
     Elmira's most famous aerialist was Edmund D. Hutchison of Winsor Ave., who later in life became a well known tent and awning maker. Part of the time Mr. Hutchison was a tightrope walker and a building climber -- the "human fly" type. He wore camel skin shoes.
     He is credited with being the first to develop a folding parachute, although he ran into patent difficulties trying to prove it.
     He used to tell of taking five parachutes up in a balloon. He would jump with all five strapped to him, opening and discarding one after the other, antedating today's sky-divers.

Real Sensation In Ballooning
Hutchinson Company To Give Exhibition At Carnival
Company Includes Ed. R. Hutchinson, America's Most Successful Aeronaut, Who Goes Up in a Huge Bomb Which Explodes-Have Three Balloons.
From The Cedar Rapids Evening Gazete, September 16, 1908
Transcribed by T.M. Jacobs, 12-2-06
To be sealed up in a gigantic bomb, have the bomb carried hundreds of feet into the air and exploded, throwing the daring aeronaut into the air with terrible force, and after dropping three or four hundred feet and then descend the rest of the way in a parachute, is seemingly a feat bordering on the impossible, but the carnival management have just closed a contract for such an act to take place every afternoon of the entire week. The man who does the death-defying stunt is Ed. R. Hutchinson of the Hutchinson Balloon company of Elmira, N.Y., which will be here Monday with two balloons, two aeronauts, and a large force of assistants.

Ed. R. Hutchinson, the man who is blown from the bomb in midair, is known as the most successful aeronaut in America, and is the originator of a number of sensational feats in ballooning. In the feat which he will present here he enters a huge bomb, which explodes with a tremendous report while high in the air and Prof. Hutchinson is thrown out and descends by parachute. The aeronaut is incased in the liner tissue of the bomb to prevent him from being injured, and it is merely the outer part that is exploded, thus causing the inner part to open automatically and the aeronaut begins his terrific whirl at frightful speeds. After dropping three or four hundred feet the parachute opens and he gently descends to Mother Earth in safety.

Another sensational feature produced by the Hutchinson company is the triple parachute leap from one balloon by one aeronaut. He leaves the balloon on his downward flight with a red parachute. After drifting a few feet, he then makes another plunge through space with the second parachute, a white one. This is repeated again after floating a few feet using a blue parachute to return to the earth, and thus making a complete triple parachute leap, using red, white and blue parachutes.

Arrangements are also being made for a balloon race at the carnival grounds between Prof. Hutchinson and Miss Danzelle, a young lady who has won the title of "Queen of the Clouds." The mammoth balloons which will be used on this occasion are two of the finest in the country, and will be filled by the up-to-date process, requiring but a few minutes.

via email from Tim Jacobs, 7-11-04
Hi Mr. Cooper
     I came across your website of aviation, and was pleasantly surprised to see that October 10, 1911 at the Richmond State Fair Grounds "J J Fanning made a six stage parachute jump using six chutes..
      I'm the great-great nephew of J J Fanning and have researching his life for about a year now. I have one photo of him, a few news articles about his death (Aug 1912 at the Tioga Fair Grounds in NY - his chute malfunctioned), and the genealogy of his siblings and parents.
     I'd be interested in any information you may have on him. I know that Fanning spent a lot of time with Edmund Hutchison of Elmira NY.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Thank you.
Editor's Note: The only information I have on J. J. is what you find on this page. If you can help Tim with his search for more information, please contact him. You can send your message to my email address and I will forward it to him. Thank you.

Richmond Times - Dispatch
October 13, 1911
Courtesy of Tim M. Jacobs, 11-18-04
     "The parachute drops of Mr. Fanning, who is assisting George Sewell, were hailed with uproarious applause, for his feats, with all chances against him, are daring beyond dream. In the afternoon he descended in a pile of stone in the western end of the city, and was slightly injured in one of his legs. But he was soon back at work, and pronounced his hurt as training."

Hutchison Rites
Slated Friday
      Funeral services for Edmund Rane Hutchison, Elmira awning manufacturer who died Tuesday will be held Friday afternoon aat 2 from the family home.
      Mr. Hutchison was a member of Cooley Lodge 96, F&AM; Elmira Chapter RAM; St. Omers Commandery, Knights Templar; Elmira grotto: Loyal Chapter, OES; and Elmira Lodge of Elks.
From Elmira Star-Gazette, Wednesday 12 April 1950
Courtesy of Tim M. Jacobs, 11-18-04
Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

Awning Maker
Dead at 80

From Elmira Star-Gazette, Tuesday 11 April 1950
Transcribed by Tim M. Jacobs
     Death this morning claimed Edmund R. Hutchison of 801 Winsor Ave., an Elmira businessman for more than 30 years. He was 80.
     Mr. Hutchison conducted a tent and awning business at 801 Winsor Ave. and was active until a short time before his death. At one time the business was located on Upper Lake St.
     He entered ten and awning manufacturing here during World War I after an exciting career as a ballonist and parachute jumper in an era when the airplane was still undeveloped. He performed above citeise throughout the United States and Canada and in England.
     He was the first balloonist to try the multiple parachute jump. The stunt saw him dropping with up to 12 parachutes, releasing and dropping them one by one until he drifted with the last to the earth.
     Mr Hutchison was active in Masonry and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
FromElmira Star-Gazette Tuesday 11 April 1950

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