Calbraith Perry Rodgers
Calbraith Rodgers
Photo from AeroFiles Site
Courtesy of K O Ecklund

Cal Rodgers
Cal Rodgers
Collection of Shellie Brodie Nelson, 3-4-06

Editor's Note: The photo above of Cal Rodgers was kindly shared with us by Shellie Brodie Nelson, the great- grandaughter of pioneer aviator Otto Brodie. It is one of some 200 photos which recently came into her possession. I invite you to visit his website by clicking on his name above and enjoy the slideshow she is assembling which already displays about 35 unique photographs from his collection.

Rodgers Flyer
Rodgers Flyer
Rodgers' Flyer - Vin Fiz
Courtesy of Leroy Cole, 3-8-04


Calbraith Perry Rodgers
Calbraith Perry Rodgers
  Upper left: Aviator Calbraith P. Rodgers after alighting at Tournament Park, Upper right: Rodgers executing a spiral as he swung over Tournament park to land. Middle: Frenzied crowd surrounding the big air machine. Lower: Crowds leaving the field.  


Ten Thousand Witness Land-
ing of Man Who Flew 4212
Miles In 49 Days
(News Staff Correspondent With Rodger's Party)

     Calbraith Perry Rodgers , who by his successful flight across the American continent added the empire of the air to the dynasty of Rodgers, rested today as the guest of Pasadena and Manager D. M. Linnard, of the Hotel Maryland.
     The aviator, of whose achievement the entire world is singing, will remain with his family as the ciry's guest during the remainder of the week, pending the fixing of some terminus on the Pacific ocean. From present indications Rodgers will attempt the last leg of his 4000-mile air flight next Sunday. No point has been selected yet but San Diego, Long Beach, Santa Barbara and other cities are holding out inducements to the intrepid air pilot.
     After his plane shall have kissed the waters of the Pacific and thus brought the two greatest oceans on earth in direct communication by means of the ethereal trail blazed by the pathfinder, Rodgers, he will return to Pasadena and here, in all probability, will make his home for the winter with good prospects of an aviation school and aeroplane factory being established at no distant date.
     So anxious was Rodgers to look out on the broad Pacific for the first time that a party was made up last night at the Hotel Maryland, a big machine was secured and a quick run made to Venice. The tall, good-looking aviator demonstrated for the second time in one day that he is the symbol of all that is dating. He manipulated the machine over the entire route with an equal dexterity as when he takes to the wings of the air.
     He jumped out of the machine at Venice and made an air-line for the beach, with other members of the party close behind. "That old ocean has been playing hide and seek with me since I left Sheepshead Bay," he said. "I must get out and tag it,"--and he proceeded to where the waves were lapping the beach and touched salt water with his foot."
     "No you don't," said one of his friends, disapprovingly, "tag it good while you're here," and gave the tall birdman such a shove that he had to wade back to land.
     Not content with viewing the beauties of the Crown City from the firmament, Rodgers today visited the principal points of interest accompanied by D. M. Linnard and several friends. Living up to the strictly modern maxim that "high fliers are never slow," Rodgers, again at the helm of the automobile, tore eddies and air-holes into the atmosphere and slipped around corners almost at the same angle as he alters his course during his pursuit of contentedness above.
     He returned in time to lunch with his wife and mother.
     "Of all cities that I have been in or above I have found none to compare with Pasadena," he told a representative of The News, after his return. "It is grand, beautiful, and the hospitality of its citizens is not only of the proverbial Western sort, but is something which I am unable to describe fitly in words."
     Both Mrs. Rodgers and Mrs. H. S. Sweitzer, the avitor's mother, drew on their stock of superlatives to tell of the wonders of this habitation of culture, refinement and other elements which contribute to the lustre of a city's name.
     "Oh, I do hope we can live in beautiful Pasadena always," added Mrs. Rodgers, with a real Californian smile.
     "Anyhow, if we cannot we will spend the winter here," chimed in Mrs. Sweitzer.
     Following several moments of the tensest disappointment, when it was thought he had misjudged the location of the city and was passing on either to Los Angeles of the ocean, Aviator C. P. Rodgers altered his western course at Shorb and after a wide detour over the eastern section of Pasadena descended in Tournament Park in a series of spiral glides and other hair-raising air maneuvers yesterday afternoon at 4:04 o'clock, to receive a deafening applause from ten thousand people.
     Spiraling downward from dizzy heights above, the greatest aviator in the world, who by sheer force of will and nerves of steel, had accomplished the impossible, stepped out from among his frail fabric of wood, wires and canvas to be wrapped in the American flag by Mrs. R. D. Davis, wife of the president of the Board of Trade, and Miss Irene Grosse.
     Thousands swarmed on the field to pay tribute to Rodgers. He was encompassed by battalions of the sweetest, fairest women in the land, the elite of all that is beautiful in Pasadena, conquered by a brave man and mighty pleased with the conqueror.
     Never once during this charge of beauteous femininity did the nerve of the aviator desert him, although once or twice he manifested some concern at the intentions of the sea of faces before him. There was but one single escape, however, over the same path which brought him there, but his motor had gone dead and he evinced no desire to remount into a region made impossible of pursuit by the stern rule of Sir Isaac Newton. Hence he remained and stood the test with the same iron nerve that characterized his transcontinental voyage.
     Rodgers was sighted from Mt. Wilson about fifteen minutes before his arrival, following the Southern Pacific tracks from Pomona. The notice of his coming was telephoned to Tournament Park and prepartions made for his arrival, including precautions taken by the police to keep the field clear. The aviator was picked up, flying about 3000 feet high, a mere atom in the sky.
     "There he comes," was the shout that went up from all quarters of the park. Immediately ten thousand people in the grounds, and as many outside, were in a state of eager anticipation with every eye trained on the minute speck which now and then became sheened with the rays of the sinking sun. Growing larger and larger the plane moved at a mile a minute east of Pasadena.
     "He has lost his way--he is not coming down--he's off for the ocean," was the cry of disappointment that went up from several thousand throats. But Rodgers evidently had not lost his way. He had been told at Pomona to pick out the Hotel Raymond first so as to get the right town, and that Tournament Park lay, roughly speaking, east of the business section. He followed the tracks of the Southern Pacific as far as Shorb where he picked up the branch to Pasadena.
     Again the cry went up from the grandstands that the aviator was coming. In five minutes he was over the grouds at an altitude of 2500 feet. Then commenced a series of evolutions which never have been repeated even during the two aviation meets at Dominguez Junction. The birdman, with absolute disregard for the ethics of gravity over the spectators, tilted his planes to a dangerous degree, swerved, ducked and glided until with one last mastereful glide, his machine landed.

     This plaque is on the campus of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. Currently, (2-25-06), it is located at the eastern edge of an athletic field, in a small park.
Photo by Ralph Cooper

Calbraith Perry Rodgers
One of the many stops, planned and unplanned, along the route.
Collection of Roy Nagl, 2-24-06

     If you search for "Calbraith Rodgers", using the Google search engine, (2-25-06), you will find about 208 links! Among the most helpful are the following. If time permits, you will be rewarded by visiting some of the other sites.

     To access the website, click on the title above. Once there, click on the tab "Enshrinee List" which you will find at the left side of the page. Then, scroll down the alphabetical list of enshrinees to "Calbraith 'Cal' Rodgers" and click on it to reach his story.
Use your "BACK" button to return to this site.

     You will find a nice story of Cal on this website. Included is a summary of his transcontinental flight as well as two photographs.To access the site, just click on the title above


     One of my most prolific and faithful contributors, Bob Davis, has located and transcribed a number of very comprehensive newpaper reports of his death. You can access them by clicking on the title above.

Editor's Note:
If you have any information on this Early Bird,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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