Viewing page 18 of 122

The Aeronautic Society of New York

Lesh brought his glider to the exhibition, and made a number of fine glides, towed by a horse and also by an automobile. It was his purpose in his last flight, in an endeavor to win the Brooklyn Eagle gold medal, to cut the tow-line when he had reached a sufficient height. He did so, but the crowd got in his way, and hampered him in landing. He fell and broke his right ankle.

Unfortunately, the fractures were badly set at the Fordham Hospital, and later it became necessary to place Lesh under the care of a specialist at Hahnemann Hospital. The plucky boy had a bad time for a long while. But he is now well again, and, though slightly lame, Dr. Geo. W. Roberts gives every assurance that eventually he will be all right. On his reappearance at a meeting of the Society, Lesh was at once unanimously elected a Complimentary Member, and he is now again taking an active part.

[[image - drawing of small three flowers]]

After the exhibition, matters progressed very rapidly in the Society. The membership had reached a total of over 200. Cold weather having set in, the question of a downtown meeting place, or, in other words, centrally located headquarters, became an important consideration. Affiliation proposals were offered by several well-known organizations, the Society finally accepting that of the Automobile Club of America, based on an exchange of courtesies, for a definite period.

The first meeting at the Automobile Club was held on the first Wednesday in December, 1908. The marked interest that had been aroused in the club was shown at the first full-dress Aeronautical Evening, which took place on Feb. 9th, 1909. The vast assembly room of the club was thronged. The success of this gathering was a surprise to many. Hudson Maxim, the famous inventor, gave his views on the future of the flying machine in war. The Hon. Col. Butler Ames, M.C., described, and for the first time showed photographs and moving pictures of, his new machine, and his experiments at the Navy Yard, Washington, and on the Potomac River. M. O. Anthony gave a demonstration of his remarkable invention for the control of airships by means of wireless telegraphy. The evening closed with a fine display of moving pictures of machines in flight, the first display of the kind ever made in this country. A unanimous vote was passed urging Congress to appropriate generous sums for the development of aeronautics for the Army.

Originally it was intended to use the Automobile Club only during the Winter months, and to return to the clubhouse at Morris Park in the Summer. But the convenience of the downtown meeting place was found to be so great that the arrangement was extended. The attendance at the Society's meetings, which was now never under fifty, and commonly over a hundred, was very gratifying. And until the termination of the arrangement with the A. C. A. every minute of every evening spent in their luxurious club house the members of the Aeronautic Society enjoyed to the fullest extent, and they wish to express here their great appreciation for those many delightful occasions and the courtesies received.

[[image - drawing of small three flowers]

Before the old year 1908 had waned away, there came a call to the Park for one Saturday afternoon, and the members and the representatives of the Press gathered there full of expectation and hope. Mr. Fred Shneider had his machine ready. It was a biplane of 30 ft. spread, and had many new features. Among the most notable of these was its extreme lightness, for the total weight was but 450 lbs. Another very interesting feature was the use of three aluminum propellers of variable pitch.

Mr. Shneider had, however, an air cooled rotary motor of an early pattern, and it proved a sore disappointment. The engine caused the failure of the experiment. 

The Society has had no more persistent and energetic worker than Mr. Shneider, but he has certainly been the champion heavyweight in the hard luck class. His second apparatus

17
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.