Lawrence J. Lesh in Glider Flight at Morris Park
from The Aeronautic Society Bulletin No. 1, 1908


     When James M Wulpi was in high school, he was thrilled with the Wright Brothers first flights, as was his friend, Lawrence Lesh, also an Early Bird. In 1907 and 1908 Lawrence and Jim made and flew gliders made of bamboo sticks, bed sheets, and baling wire on the sand dunes near Saugatuck, Michigan, where the winds off Lake Michnigan helped to lift the boys when they ran down the sand dunes. They always crashed when they landed because the glider was going faster than they could run in the soft sand. But they repaired the glider many times with the wire and flew it again and again. They also contacted Octave Chanute in Champaign, Illinois, who had worked with the Wright Brothers, and spent many afternoons in his home discussing wing curves, airfoils, etc., very exciting for the young fliers.
Extract from Biography of James M. Wulpi by Donald J. Wulpi, 1-20-03


Virtually a full-page article in the Tampa Sunday Tribune of November 10, 1957 under the above heading was devoted to the life and background of EB Lawrence J. Lesh who prefers the simple life away from the hustle and bustle of society. But Lesh, as the article brings out, is no ordinary hermit. A real pioneer in aviation and radio with many patents to his credit, he continues his research and does a bit of sign painting work at his simple Florida abode which he built himself on an acre of land. His address is 1571 Tamiami Trail, Fr. Meyers.
     The illustrated article points out that Lesh made his first flight in a glider in Chicago in 1906 at the age of 14, and by 1910 he was flying a powered plane that he built himself. In those early years, he was associated with Octave Chanute. He later designed and built radio equipment and radio stations. One of his outstanding patents covered a wind-driven aircraft radio generator. For many years he worked as an independent consulting engineer on aviation and automotive safety devices. He continues his scientific studies today and is an artist of considerable talent.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, April, 1958, Number 59

Lawrence J. Lesh died in 1965
From The Early Birds of Aviation
Roster of Members, 1996

BackNext Home