Viewing page 21 of 47

Early Wright Pilot - Cross-Country Flyer - Instructor - Engineer 

Harry N. Atwood was born in Lynn, Massachusetts November 15, 1884. In his youth he had a boyhood chum, Lee Hammond, who was a near neighbor. They grew up and attended grade school and Boston Poly Tech school together, then Atwood went to Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They caught the bicycle and motorcycle fever and also owned a small motorboat. Their increasing mechanical interests then turned to automobiles. Atwood became quite an expert on engines and cars and became a professional driver. Reportedly he did some auto racing, and he and Hammond operated a garage in Swampscott, Massachusetts. 

Their interest turned to airplanes when W.S. Burgess started his early aviation experiments in late 1909. They really got the "flying bug" at the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet held at Squantum, Massachusetts, September 3 to 16, 1910. This meet was organized by the Harvard Aeronautical Society and the contestants were U.S. aviators Walter Brookins, Ralph Johnstone, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Willard, Earl Ovington and Clifford Harmon; contestants from Europe were Claude Grahame-White, Tom Sopwith and A.V. Roe. It was here that Atwood and Hammond became determined to learn to fly. Following the meet they hurriedly built a plane which was not a success. Evidently they then approached Burgess about teaching them to fly, but he was not ready to begin training students. 

The Burgess Company and Curtis [[crossed-out]] s [[/crossed-out]] were building a Farman-copy machine, known as the Model D, and exhibited one at the New York Auto Show held in Grand Central Palace from December, 31, 1910, to January 7, 1911. Burgess then successfully negotiated with the Wright brothers to manufacture the Wright biplane under license, to be know as the Burgess-Wright Model F. At that time, Bostonian William Hilliard was acting as Burgess Company pilot although he [[crossed-out]] ahd [[/crossed-out]] very limited experience. 
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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