Viewing page 5 of 29

Wright Biplane with a dummy wooden engine and some small scale model planes to exhibit in a tent at fairs and carnivals. The charge was $1.00 for adults and 50ยข for children over 10 years of age, as they traveled from place to place. To their surprise that scheme made them some money, becoming his first successful aviation venture. 

   They finally reached Seattle, Washington in the Fall of 1907 where Babcock liked the territory so well he decided to stay. He established himself there and soon started to build another Wright-type biplane with which he reportedly began to teach himself to fly in 1909. That year he and another aeronautically minded friend formed the Babcock-Breininger Aeroplane Supply Company in Seattle, the first aeroplane company west of Dayton, Ohio. There through 1912 they developed a small business making propellers, turnbuckles, fittings and various fabricated wood aircraft components. During this time they supplied parts to and became acquainted with nearly all the early west coast plane builders and aviators of that era. 

   While operating this shop and business, Babcock built and experimented with different planes and continued his flying practices. One was a light high wing parasol monoplane using a 2 cyl. motorcycle engine, another was a gull wing Taube-type monoplane using a 2 cyl. Detroit Aeromotor and a third was another light Deperdussin-type monoplane using a 4 cyl. Curtiss air-cooled engine. Also, he began flying various other types owned by fellow builders in the Seattle area.
 
   During this period Babcock also assisted other aviators mechanically at intervals and was one of the mechanics with Phil Parmelee and Clifford Turpin when they started flying exhibitions in the northwest area with their new Gage tractor biplanes in late May, 1912. Following this Babcock built a modified Curtiss-type plane with the top wing having a greater span than the lower, and 3-wheel landing gear, using a 50 H.P. Gnome engine. With this plane he reportedly did some flying at Dominguez Field, Los Angeles, during 1913. 
   In September, 1914 Babcock went to France and joined the Air Service, where

2
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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.