Photo from U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission website.
By Charles E. Taylor, as told to Robert S. Hall
Air Line Pilot, April 2000, page 22
When Orville Wright died Jan. 30, 1948, Charles E. Taylor became the only surviving member of the three who built the first airplane. Charlie Taylor was the only employee and intimate associate of Wilbur and Orville Wright throughout the critical years. Without precedent or fanfare, Taylor built the engines for the Wright's first planes to their designs.
This article, written in 1948 while Taylor was living in retirement in California, was first published in Collier's, Dec. 25, 1948, and was reprinted in Air Line Pilot, December 1978. Taylor died Jan. 30, 1956, at the age of 88.
You may read this entire article on the Air Line Pilot magazine website by clicking on:
of the Early Birds of Aviation
NO ONE can really say one reunion is any more fun than another. There are bound to be variations, scheduled and unscheduled. As usual, of course, there could be seen any time during the races a bunch of check-capped Early Birds out in front of everything, talking over the field mike, pinch-hitting on national hookups or just gassing away with fellow celebrities. There was the annual meeting at the Statler when all the EBs at the races got together at one and the same time, and the Tichenor dinner and EB guest Charlie Taylor, the world's No. 1 airplane and engine artisan.
September 3, 4 and 5, 1938, were big days for several early birds who had just discovered the Early Birds and had made themselves and their desire for association known. And for everyone it was great to see old friends again or actually meet, perhaps for the first time, those personages who were names in the golden days, and to realize that the most of them are still right along in the forefront as of yore though, doubtless, on a little more solid footing.
Morning and evening of every day found groups of earnest "confabbers" in session in the Early Bird headquarters in the Statler.
On September 3, a delegation of Early Birds---Augustus Post, Horace B. Tuttle, Horace B. Willis, Sidney Veit, A. P. Warner and Ernest Jones---laid a wreath on the grave of Ambassador Herrick
On the morning of September 4, was held the annual meeting of officers.
On the evening of the same day, 80 some odd members and their guests attended the dinner. The Early Birds' Saint Tichenor was again the host. The newly re-elected "Jack" Vilas was in the chair
Certificates of membership were handed to most lately elected members Ralph H. Upson, C. Murvin Wood and J. William Kabitzke, who were called on for personal angles on their past performances. Colonel T. DeW. Milling was greeted after many years of sojourn in Fitzsimmons Hospital and recovery time. There was Colonel A. R. Christie, JMA of July 3, 1915, and Hilder (Mrs. J. Floyd) Smith---the only woman Early Bird present---told the audience her views on pioneer flying and jumping. Charles E. Taylor, builder of the gliders and planes, engines and what not of the Wright brothers and of the Wright Company, stood a barrage of questions upon the conclusion of his anecdotes. James V. "Jimmie" Piersol told of his conferences and negotiations which resulted in the transplanting of the Wright workshop and homestead from Dayton to Greenfield Village. And on around the table went the call from Toastmaster "Bud" Morriss for the facts of life from the Early Birds present.
The Early Birds as a whole were again guests of the Rexes at the Bunny Hutch. Mrs. Peggy Rex was at EB headquarters bright and early the first day to make sure, and one notices that absentees were few.
Monday was another day at the races for the Early Birds---guests, as usual, of Manager Phil Henderson; and now, there's this year's races and reunion to look forward to.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
The Shrine to Aviation and Museum, is a 75 foot tall old world structure of marble, mosaic, and sculpted figures located at Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park in North Hollywood. It is the burial site for 13 pioneers of aviation, including Charles E. Taylor and on Memorial Day 1996 was re-dedicated as an aviation museum.
Built in 1924 as the entrance to Pierce Brothers Valhalla Memorial Park, it was dedicated in 1953 as a Shrine to Aviation by aviation enthusiasts who envisioned a final resting place for pilots, mechanics and other pioneers of flight.
Memorial plates on the walls include honors for Amelia Earhart, Richard E. Byrd, and Brg. General William Mitchell.
If you have information regarding any of these pioneers to share with others, or have questions about the aviation museum, please contact:
Portal of the Folded Wings
10621 Victory Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91606
Telephone: (818) 763-9121
Fax: (818) 763-3801
This from The Portal of the Folded Wings webpage
If you have any information on this Early Flier,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper