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CHARLES H. DAY Early Plane Designer - Builder - Aviator Charles H. Day was born at Salamanca, New York, December 29, 1884. He attended grade schools there and at Hornell, New York, and graduated from high school at Hornell. Following this he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, where he graduated in 1905. That year he moved to California for his health and from there went on a brief mining jaunt to southeast Alaska. Returning to Los Angeles in 1906 he became an instructor in a Y.M.C.A. automobile school and a partner in the Brown and Day Auto Repair Shop, then in 1907 an automobile stage line was added. In his automobile work Day became acquainted with Glenn Martin who operated a Ford and Maxwell car agency and repair garage in Santa Ana, California. During the summer of 1907 Martin got the bug to build an airplane. He had a mechanic, Roy Beall, working for him, and Martin persuaded Beall and Day to help build the plane during spare time. This work was done in Martin's garage and the machine was ready for test that fall. A monoplane with a Model T Ford automobile engine, it was not successful. This was undoubtedly Day's first interest in aviation. Martin was dejected and gave up his aerial ideas for a time, then in the spring of 1909 he decided to try again, this time along more conventional lines. A Curtiss-type biplane was planned, again using the Ford automobile engine. Beall and Day agreed to help [[strikethrough]], this time working [[/strikethrough]] and they went to work in an abandoned Methodist Church in Santa Ana. Day made the propellers for both of these first Martin planes, and independently conceived the idea to laminate the blanks from which they were carved in order to increase the strength, a practice which was also used by other pioneers, and has continued to the present time.
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