Viewing page 112 of 162

[[Newspaper clipping]]
Washingtoner flog über den Ozean
Bequeme Fahrt

Einer, der aus Washington die erste große richtige Passagier–Reise des Ozean-Flugzeugs "Dixie Clipper" nach Lissabon und Marseille mitmachte und gestern nach hier zurückkehrte und zwar mit der ersten, ausgegebenen Reisefahrkarte (vorige Woche), war Herr W.J. Eck. Herr Eck ist seit vielen Jahren Vizepräsident der "Southern Railway". Seit 1931 hat er sich um die Flugzeugfahrkarte für diese Ozeanreise  bemüht und war seitdem im Besitz derselben. Er stand Lifte an der Spitz humoristen Will Rogers, der 1935 verunglückte. Mehr als 600 Personen bewarben sich in diesen letzten Monaten um Fahrkarten. 300 wollten die erste Fahrt mitmachen. Herr Eck wohnt hier an der Adams-Straße, N.W., Nr. 53. Er ist der Ehemann der vor einigen Jahren 1933-34 verstorbenen, best bekannten und angesehenen Frau Dr. Margarete Eck.

Herr Eck ist ein langer, hochgewachsener Mann, 6,1 Fuß hoch. Aber er konnte seine langen Glieder bequem in dem Bett ausstrecken, welches ihm in dem Flugzeug zur Verfügung stand. Das Flugzeug selbst fliegt so sicher und ruhig daher, daß man nichts vom Fliegen merkt, daß man beim Stehen glauben könnte, irgendwo zu Hause auf festem Boden zu sain und daß man darin einen angenehmen Spaziergang machen kann.
[[end column one]]
[[start column two]]
Man fliegt so hoch, daß man den Ozean gar nicht zu sehen bekommt oder nur jelten, wenn gerade zwischen den Wolken, über denen man daher [[sauft?]], eine Lücke sich befindet.

Das sind so einige Eindrücke von der Fahrt, welche Herr Eck seinen Freunden mitteilte. Stolz  wies auch er darauf hin, daß das Schiff in wenigen Tagen zehn Tausend Meilen zurückgelegt hatte. "Ich bin nur sechs Tage von Washington fort gewesen", sagte er, "und doch verbrachte ich vier Nächte in Paris. Es war eine ausgezeichnete Fahrt. Am liebsten möchte ich gleich zurückkehren und die Luftfahrtgesellschaft wegen ihrer Ehrlichkeit und Höflichkeit. Man hatte ihr nämlich $5,000 angeboten, wenn man die Fahrkarte des Herrn Eck aufgab und an jemand anders verkaufte. Herr Eck zahlte etwa 700 Dollar für seine Karte, welche er jetzt, weil sie historisch denkwürdig ist, an das hiesige "Smithsonian"-Museum schenken will. Es ist die erste, regelrechte Passagierfahrkarte für den Ozeanflug zwischen America, Lissabon, Marseille und Paris. Als Andenken an diese erste Reise erhielt Herr Eck ferner von der Luftfahrtgesellschaft ein silbernes Zigaretten-Etui mit dem Abbild der ersten Reisefahrkarte. Seiner Frau, die er vor drei Monaten heiratete, brachte er von der Reise schöne, durchbrochene Handschuhe mit, die er in Paris gekauft hatte. (Die Frau des Herrn Eck ist die frührere Emily Kleb). – Das Reisen geht immer schneller. In vier Stunden ist man mit der Luft in Chicago und bezahlt $36 dafür, nicht viel mehr als mit der Eisenbahn.
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
THE SUNDAY STAR,
Wednesday evening at 8 – Washington Philatelic Society, Jefferson room, Hotel Mayflower, Connecticut Avenue at DeSales Street N.W. W. J. Eck, first passenger to cross and recross the Atlantic in Pan-American clipper ships, will speak on his experiences. Exhibition of stamps of Austria by Philip Sims Warren, Alexander Halperson and Dr. Emil Ferdinand.
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
^[[ Washington Star.
July 16, 1939.]]

W. J. Eck, assistant to the president of the Southern Railway, was the guest of honor and principal speaker at a meeting of the Washington Philatelic Society, Hotel Mayflower, Wednesday evening. He told the story of his experience as passengerNo. 1 on the Dixie Clipper from Port Washington, Long Island, to Marseile, France, and return.

Having applied for passage in 1931, Mr. Eck explained: "I wrote to the Pan American Co. from time to time to remind the booking office of my application. Finally, I received a telegram offering me a ticket. I called my wife on the telephone to ask if she had any objection to my accepting. She wanted to know: 'Is it safe?' and I answered: 'Certainly, it is.' So I wired to New York that I would go. Then my troubles began. Somebody notified the newspapers, and an army of reporters and photographers descended upon us. Because of the publicity, a friend I had not heard from for 40 years wrote to me. I was solicited to indorse all kinds of toothpaste, automobile tires, cigarettes, chewing gum and other things. At Port Washington a pile of telegrams and letters was handed to me as I went on board the plane.
[[/Newspaper clipping]]

[[newspaper clipping]]
"There were 22 passengers, 15 men besides myself and six women. The ship will carry 74 passengers in day time, 40 sleeping passengers at night. I was glad to find that the berths are longer than those in Pullman cars. The public space is 85 feet long, and we had plenty of room to walk about and stretch our legs. To illustrate the size of the plane it may be mentioned that the wing spread in 152 feet, something like 30 feet longer than the first flight of the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk.

"We rose from the water into the air almost without realizing that we were moving. Once above the clouds, we did not see the ocean again until we came down at Horta in the Azores. We flew on an average 8,000 feet above the surface of the earth, and the light of the moon on the white upper portions of the clouds was indescribably beautiful. Coming back, I saw the finest sunset that could be imagined – the rays of the sun turning the clouds two different shades of pink and rose, and the upper sky a crystal blue. The first day of the trip was 19 hours, the last day 29 hours."

Mr. Eck said that the Dixie Clipper made the distance to the Azores, 2,490 miles, in 15 hours, flying an average of 154 miles an hour, "but to look out, you would have sworn that you could walk faster." The plane, he told his audience, is air-conditioned and practically soundproof. As to his fellow-passengers, he discovered: "Most of them were experienced travelers. We sat around and recited our adventures in many parts of the world, played games, ate excellent meals. Time passed very rapidly. There was nothing monotonous about our crossing. Nobody wanted to sleep."

Landing at Horta, Mr. Eck and his party were taken for a quick tour around the island. In Lisbon all the passengers were entertained by the Portuguese government. Since it was forbidden to fly over Spain,
[[/newspaper clipping]]

[[Clipping of poem]]
TO THE PILOT OF THE NIGHT AIR MAIL
by Frances M. Miller
I would that I could fly with you,
brave, solitary mortal,
Across the starry-spangled blue
Of Heaven's lonely portal.
One with the winds that blow so free
Throughout the fragrant dark,
The planets that accompany
Your swift, celestial bark.

High – high within the firmament
You soar, enchantment knowing,
The silent world about you rent
With clamor, at your going.
I would that I could share your flight
Beyond the earth's alarms,
Across the reaches of the night
To dawning's rosy arms.
[[/Clipping of poem]]

[[Clipping]]
[[underline]]Mayflower Hotel[[/underline]]
[[underline]]Washington, D. C.[[/underline]]

WASHINGTON PHILATELIC SOCIETY

[[Image – a gray rectangle representing a postage stamp with 5 wavy black lines over top, representing a cancellation stamp]]

Organized December 11, 1905

LIFE CHAPTER NO. 18 AMERICAN PHILATELIC SOCIETY
Bulletin No. 8 – Vol. 4 – Whole No. 44 August 1939

During July, our programs were enriched by the presence of two unscheduled speakers, both members of the American Philatelic Society. On July 5, Mr. Delf Norona exhibited and discussed postmarks. Those present were astonished to learn how much useful and interesting information could be obtained through a study of postmarks. On July 12, Mr. W. J. Eck was a guest speaker. Mr. Eck was a member of the group which made the first commercial flight from the U. S. to Europe and return, via the Pan- American Clipper Ships. He described in a fascinating manner the flight and the things he saw and did. He remarked that although he was away only six nights, he spent four of them in Europe. Mr. Eck is a confirmed booster for this mode of travel.





















Transcription Notes:
ß ä ö ü Ä Ö Ü

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.