Local aviation history explored

Motorcycles race around a Curtiss biplane, Aviation Day at South Park, Eureka, circa 1911. Photo courtesy Marc Matteoli

Motorcycles race around a Curtiss biplane, Aviation Day at South Park, Eureka, circa 1911. Photo courtesy Marc Matteoli

Aviation expert and author Marc Matteoli presents “North Coast Aviators and the History of Aviation” at the Humboldt County Historical Society program meeting on Saturday, March 2 at 1 p.m., in the first-floor conference room of the Humboldt County Library, 1313 Third Street, Eureka. Admission is free and everyone is invited.

In this exciting presentation, Marc Matteoli, author of the book “North Coast Aviators,” shows how the North Coast has played a vital part in the development of aviation right from the beginning. For example, he will tell the story of the man Thomas Edison called  “The Father of Aviation,” John Joseph Montgomery, who spent the years 1893 and 1894 in Rohnerville, perfecting the science of controlled flight. Montgomery created the “aerilon,” for the first time providing practical control of the flight axis called roll, and in 1905 he made history when he flew his glider for fifteen minutes of absolutely controlled flight.

Then there is Blaine Selvage, a Humboldt aviator who began designing airplanes at the early date of 1908. A mechanic, he invented a lightweight engine, built a mono-wing plane, and in 1909 took off at Freshwater and flew over the Woods Resort. Matteoli will show a picture of this flight.

Matteoli will share the fascinating stories of Montgomery and Selvage, and of Glenn Curtiss and the Wright brothers — their conjunction, competition, and the things they learned and developed during the early years of aviation. Additionally, he will share stories of our local North Coast aviators during the early era of flight, during World War II and more recent times.

Please join Marc Matteoli for an exciting history of flight. Matteoli will also sign copies of his book, “North Coast Aviators,” which will be available for purchase. For more information please contact the Humboldt County Historical Society at 445-4342, or visit www.humboldthistory.org.

 

 

 

 

One thought on “Local aviation history explored

  1. An authoritative biography of aviation pioneer John J. Montgomery has recently been published by the University of Oklahoma Press. “Quest for Flight”

Comments are closed.