1877 - 1912
Collection of Ernie Sansome
Collection of Ernie Sansome
Charles Walsh born, Oct., 1877, Early Days in Mission Valley, California, Charlie marries Alice, Sept., 1903, Seeking gold in Goldfield, NV, Goldfield Dies, 1907, Charlie works for the Union Pacific, News of the Wright Brothers, 1908, State Senator Wright supports Walsh
CHAPTER 2. Charlie Builds his First Aeroplane
San Diego Aeroplane Mfg. Co., Sept., 1909, Dominguez Air Meet, Jan, 1910, San Diego Air Meet, 1910.
CHAPTER 3. Charlie's First Flight
Charlie's second airplane, Charlie solos, 1910,
CHAPTER 4. Ed Pickell Offers Engine, Harry Harkness Finances
Playa del Rey Motordrome Meet, 1910, Charlie helps Glenn L. Martin, Macomber Rotary Engine
CHAPTER 5. 1st Family Airplane Flight
Charlie's First Family Flight, Feb., 1911
CHAPTER 6. Exhibition Aviator
Charlie Fails Flying Test, April, 1911, Charlie becomes solvent, Charles F. Walsh...Exhibition Aviator, First exhibition flights, May, 1911, First License in California
CHAPTER 7. Curtiss Exhibition Company
Curtiss Exhibition Company, Aug., 1911, Exhibition in Cuba, Dec., 1911
CHAPTER 8. Walsh Tests Plane for Army
Lincoln Beachey banned by Army, April, 1912, Charlie completes tests, Charlie applies for FAI license,April, 1912, Charlie returns to fair circuit, 1912,
CHAPTER 9. The Final Curtain
Charles' last letter to Alice, Charlie crashes, Oct. 3, 1912,
CHAPTER 10. Epilogue
Epilogue, Alice Marries Antone Martin, Desert Christ Park
from Michael J. Floriani, 8-29-05
1. Tuesday, August 6, 1912
2. Wednesday, August 7, 1912
3. Thursday, August 8, 1912
"The following photos are scanned images from negatives I acquired late 2001. These are a few of the 30 or so negatives I have in my possession of early aviation pioneer Charles F. Walsh. While the detail may not be the greatest, keep in mind that these were generated from 92 years old negatives!"
To access his site and enjoy this valuable resource, just click on:
Editor's Note: This is one of the most remarkable and beautiful collection of photographs I have ever seen. It is definitely a must-see for anyone interested in early aeroplanes and aviators. My thanks to Brian DeFord for making them available to the online community.
courtesy of Steve Remington - CollectAir
Editor's Note: This anecdote was kindly provided by Thomas Peterson, the great-grandnephew of Augustin.
He is being assisted by his grandmother and great-grandmother, the sister of Augustin. I am greatly indebted to him and the family.
by Bob Noyer
Soon this was about to change for Winchesterians. An aeroplane was coming!
While the Wright brothers had been perhaps the first to accomplish powered flight a bit more than eight years prior, there were earlier forms of flying, notably lighter-than-air (balloons). The Winchester Evening Star advertises Balloon Ascensions during the county fair, Sept. 11, 1911. But this was not the “first’ I was seeking: powered flight in a heavier-than-air machine--an aeroplane-- soaring over the skies of Winchester. When? What machine? Who was the Pilot? And where was the Landing Field?
AT FAIR GROUNDS
Biplane Collapses When Daring Birdman Attempts Spiral Descent
After Climb of 4,000 Feet.
TRENTON EVENING TIMES EXTRA 2CENT
TRENTON, N.J. THURSDAY, OCTOBER 3, 1912.
Collection of Ernie Sansome
MONSTER CROWD SEES HIM CRASH TO EARTH IN WRECK
Walsh fell about 2,000 feet while attempting to make a spiral descent after a perfect climb ot a height of at least 4,000 feet.
The accident was due to the collapse of one of the planes of the car, although the exact reason for the mishap will probably never be known.
The biplane was about three quarters of a mile from the crowded grand stand and far above the earth, when Walsh began his spiral descent. He made three perfect turns and was about to swing around on the fourth, when suddenly the car seemed to turn on one end, pointing downward. Then it was seen from the ground that one of the immense planes was broken.
For a moment or two those on the ground could see the aviator struggling desperately to regain his balance by trying to clmb up over the unbroken parts of his car. Then the whole apparatus took a sudden shift, crashing and tangled to the ground.
It was however, all over in a minute or two and then there was a rush to the scene--friends and associates of the unfortunate man hoped against hope to be able to do something for his relief and others were curious to see how he had fared in his terrible fall.
When the doctors and others arrived they found Walsh under the wreckage and pinned down by the engine.
"It is not likely, however," the doctor continued, "that he knew what hit him when he struck the earth. He was doubtless unconscious from his terrible fall through the air."
The body of the dead man was picked up and placed in the auto for removal to the morgue, while the machinist went to work on the airship, which was found to be a complete wreck.
In the meantime activities on the fair grounds were again under way, although everyone and everything seemed to be subdued by the solemnity of what had happened. Many people left the grounds.
HONORED BY MANY FRIENDS
Oct. 3rd, 1912
It was fitting that Aviator Walsh should be buried here. It was in San Diego that much of his life was passed, it was here that he made his first flight in an aeroplane. So when he was crushed to death, after a terrible 2000-foot fall at Trenton, N. M., last week, they picked him up tenderly and sent him home to rest.
Walsh's career was a short as it was eventful. Not until 1909 did he become interested in aviation. His first practice flights were watched with interest by his San Diego friends. And when he became one of the greatest birdmen the world has so far known, San Diego was proud of him.
But there were those in San Diego who also feared for him. One of the great pilots of sky craft, and realized that Walsh, as daring as the best, might soon join the ranks of those who had gone before.
It came at last. His life went out with one last, great flight in far away New Jersey.
If you have any information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper