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EDWARD LEE HAMMOND

Early Baldwin "Red Devil" Pilot

Edward Lee Hammond was born in Boston, Massachusetts, March 17, 1891. In his youth he grew up in the Swampscott section of the city, and had a boyhood chum and near neighbor, Harry N. Atwood. They attended grade and Boston Poly Tech Schools t[[strikethrough]]h[[/strikethrough]]ogether, became bicycle and motorcycle enthusiasts and jointly owned a small motorboat.

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Their mechanical interests then turned to automobiles and they became quite expert on engines. This led them to some local auto racing and they later conducted a garage in Swampscott. 

Their interests turned to airplanes when W.. Burgess started his early aviation experiments at Marblehead in late 1909. They attended the Harvard-Boston Aero Meet held at Squantum, Massachusetts, September 3-16, 1910, where they saw flying by some of the world's famous early aviators and both became determined to learn to fly. After the eet they hurriedly built a plane, which was not a success, then approached Burgess about teaching them to fly, but he was not ready to begin training.

At that time the Burgess Company and Curtis were building a Farman-copy machine, known as the Model D, and exhibited one at the New York Aero Show in Grand Central Palace December 31, 1910 - January 7 1911. Bostonian William Hilliard was acting as Burgess Company aviator although he had very limited flying experience. After the New York show the plane on exhibition was taken to the flying field at Mineola, Long Island, where Hilliard started flying it on January 22nd. Evidently Hammond and Atwood had continued to plague Burgess about instruction and he may have authorized their trip to Mineola at that time where, hopefully, Hilliard might give them some instruction. Hilliard did make occasional practice flights, weather permitting, but always maintained that conditions were not suitable to train students, so they received no instruction.
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