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John J. Frisbie
Pioneer Aeronaut and Exhibition Aviator

John J. Frisbie was born at Oswego, New York in February, 1886.

In the early 1900's he was a well known hot-air balloonist and chute jumper; one of the leading professionals in this field, [[strikethrough]] and [[/strikethrough]] he followed the Fair circuits both in the United States and Europe.

As the [[strikethrough]] aeroplane [[/strikethrough]] airplane became a threat to the balloon-exhibition business in 1909, Frisbie became interested in aviation and built his first plane in July, 1910. It was constructed at Garden City, Long Island, New York, with the help of his old ballooning friend, Captain Thomas S. Baldwin. It was a Curtiss-type pusher biplane using a 40-50 h.p. 4-cylinder Elbridge engine. The parts for the plane were made b y the C. and A. Whitteman Company of Staten Island, New York.

As soon as the plane was completed Frisbie displayed his usual air courage and on his first try proceeded to take the machine off the ground. He did a series of up and down hard bumps, due to overcontrolling, but did not wreck the plane. Baldwin then calmed him down and limited the throttle control, enabling him to make five successful straightaway extended hops. He made several more the next day and took his sixteen year old son along on one of the hops. Daily practice was continued and he was soon flying quite well under Captain Baldwin's watchful eye. He made over 50 hops and short flights in two weeks.

During August he was making cross-country flights over neighboring towns and around Mineola. Frisbie made his first public exhibition flights at Ontario Beach, Rochester, New York, on Labor Day. Probably over-anxious to make good, he had his troubles, but did succeed in making some satisfactory flights. After this event he returned to Mineola and continued practice, then flew with Tod Schriver at Wilmington, Delaware, October 4th to 7th, under Baldwin's management. On October 15th he obtained F.A.I. License No. 24 at Garden City, New York. October 22nd to 31st he flew at the Belmont Park Meet and made a good showing. He had a minor smashup there but was not injured.
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