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PAGE TWO  
THE MOUNTAIN EMPIRE BULLETIN
SEPTEMBER 1, 1936

EARL OVINGTON OF FIRST AIR MAIL FAME PASSES

[[Column 1: text inside box]]
In 
Memoriam

Lincolin Beachey

KILLED IN A CRASH AT SAN FRANCISCO

MARCH 14, 1915

This Tribute
from an Early Bird

----------------------

In
Memoriam

[[/Column 1]]

QUIT REPORTER'S JOB IN 1910 TO BECOME BLERIOT AVIATOR

[[Column 2]]
[[image]]
EARL OVINGTON

This is an authentic story of the early career of Earle L. Ovington, pioneer aviator, who died in a  Glendale hospital on the night of July 21, 1936.

Earle L. Ovington was the eldest grandson of Edward Judson Ovington, the founder of "Ovington's" a famous gift shop on Fifth Ave., New York.

He was born in 1880. In 1904 he received a degree in electrical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but instead of seeking a career in that field became a reporter on a New York daily newspaper instead.

Ovington first became interested in aviation while reporting an aviation meet at Belmont Park, in October 1910. It was at this meet that Claude Grahame-White, a famous English aviator, wrested the Gordon Bennett speed trophy, first won by Curtiss, at Rheims, France in August 1909, from America.

For two months after the Belmont meet it is said that Ovington could think of nothing else but flying. At night a pillow placed on each side of him, representing the wings of a Bleriot monoplane, and with another pillow between his knees, to represent the controls, he made his first "practice flights."

Later that year Ovington enrolled in the Bleriot school, at Pau, France. There, ridiculous as it may seem, his "bed-time" flying exercises stood him in good stead. After only two lessons he was able to take to the air for a short hop of five hundred feet, and shortly thereafter received his F.A.I. brevet.

[[Bold]] Brought Bleriot to U.S. [[/Bold]]

Before returning home Ovington bought a racing type Bleriot mono-plane, and had the tiny cockpit
[[/Column 2]]

[[Column 3]]
but he did outfly and outplace every other machine in the monoplane contests. He flew the fastest lap of any one during the meet, his time for the 1 1/3 mile being 1 minute and 22 seconds.

The aerial voyage, for which Ovington became most noted, was flight with a bag of mail from the flying field at Garden City, L. i. to Mineola, L. I., six miles distant. Ovington and Captain Paul W. Beck, a Curtiss-trained aviator were sworn in as aerial postmen by Postmaster-General Hitchcock and both completed, within a few seconds of each other the first air mail flights ever to be made in the United States.

On this occasion Ovington flew his Bleriot monoplane, :Beck flying a military Curtiss biplane, of the pusher type. In addition to a sack of mail Beck also carried the post-master-General as a passenger, Soaring over Mineola both aviators, still in the air,pitched their mail pouches overboard, the mail failing at the feet of William McCarthy, the Mineola postmaster.

Ovington had arrived at Mineola first, and it was accordingly honored as the first aerial postman. Captain Beck was killed later that year at San Antonio, Texas, when he swerved his plane quickly to two competitors, cross-country from Boston to Nashua, N. H., Providence, R. I., and back to Boston. For this feat he received a prize of $10,000.

[[Bold]]
Entered Hearst Contest
[[/Bold]]

Ovington was one of the pilots who were entered in the competition for a $50,000 prize, offered by William Randolph Hearst in 1011, for the first coast to coast flight.the rules for the contest stipulated that the flight be made in thirty days.The purse was never won, although two flyers, C. P. Rodgers and Robert Fowler completed flights which required many weeks over the time limit. James J. Ward, flying a Curtiss biplane, gave up the attempt after a flight of several hundred miles from New York, and Ovington's effort was of even shorter duration. Leaving Nassau Blvd., in his monoplane on the morning of October 8, 1911,
[[/Column 3]]

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[[Title spread over two columns]]
CAREERS FOR ELEVEN PLANNED BY HIGH AERIAL DEPARTMENT
___

[[Column 4]]
On Aug. 27, 1911, the special department of Gods, recently created to direct the future careers of embryo birdmen convened.

"George E. Barnhart," read the scribe, from a short scroll, "soloed in a Curtiss-type crate at Dominquez field last year." 

"Let him survive many crashes," said the chief God. "Put a brain of a scientist in a skull of a gangling country youngster. Let him eventually invent, and get a patent on wing flaps, so that all may say 'Well, what do you think, of that - that dumb Barnhart guy finally did something worthwhile. He invented wing flaps."
[[/Column 4]]

[[Column 5]]
Ho, ho ho!"

"Anthony Stadleman," read the scribe3. 

"You mean Tony," the Chief God corrected. "Tony's a good scout, but lets have a little fun with him. Roll that Curtiss pusher of his up in a bundle a few times Then finally make an aeronautical technician out of him."

"R. J. Armor," read the scribe.

"Guard him well." 

"Arthur B. Stone," read the scribe.

"The guy with the Queen company," said the Chief God. "Let him have a few crack-ups to im-
[[/Column 5]]

Transcription Notes:
each column is cut off because this is the top half of a newspaper page

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.