Viewing page 20 of 44

American aviators Al Welsh, O. G. Simmons, Clarence deGiers and Jesse Seligmann were in Panama during 1912 to look over the possibility of doing the same thing, but after seeing the actual conditions of the country to be traversed they gave up the idea. With this flight Fowler gained the distinction of being the first aviator to fly from coast-to-coast for the second time.

Fowler then returned to the United States and began preparing for the summer exhibition season. He also appeared at various theaters in San Francisco and vicinity showing the Panama aerial movies with his personal commentary. Through July and August he was at Overland Park, Kansas City, Missouri for an extended engagement giving exhibitions and carrying passengers. While there on August 9th he made a balloon ascension as a passenger with Capt. H. E. Honeywell, and enjoyed it. At Kansas City Fowler reportedly operated the first airport established in that city. In mid-September he flew at the McPherson County Fair, McPherson, Kansas for one week, and after an active exhibition season returned to San Francisco in December for the winter. In November Fowler had contracted to fly periodic aerial inspection patrols of electric power lines between Oakland and Oroville, California for the Great Western Power Company, a new use for aviation at that time. The distance was about 70 miles and he carried a company inspector who noted from the air where line repairs were needed. Reportedly Fowler did a very creditable job of demonstrating the early commercial possibility of such a service during the course of this contract. On December 24th he delivered several sacks of Christmas mail by air to Sacramento, California as a stunt.

During the spring of 1914 Fowler sold his transcontinental Model B Wright to Walter Brookins and Ralph Newcomb, his former mechanic, who overhauled and rebuilt it with ailerons instead of the original warp, and they did considerable flying with it for sport and movie contracts.  That season Fowler did some exhibition work, conducted a flying school, carried passengers, and for a time was again on a vaudeville circuit showing the movies of his Panama flight and giving lectures at several theaters in California. 

In the spring of 1915 he and Silas Christofferson operated Flying Boats, 

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