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Pioneer Exhibition Aviator


Horace F. Kearney was born at Rolla, Missouri, August 14, 1885. During his youth the family moved to Kansas City where he graduated from Woodland School in 1903. He then entered Manuel High School, where he designed and made the parts for a motor cycle engine in the school shop. Also interested in telegraphy, he made a wireless apparatus. 


After two years in high school Kearney dropped out and enlisted in the United States Navy as apprentice electrician. After his term of enlistment he became electrician on the Morrow Castle of the Ward lines, operating between New York and South America.
The early reports of the flying episodes of the Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtiss fired Kearney's interest toward aviation. As a result he became associated with A. L. Pfitzner at Marblehead, Massachusetts during the early summer of 1910. Pfiztner was then engaged as aviator for the Burgess Co. and Curtis, and was also experimenting with an unusual monoplane of his own which he had built at Hammondsport in 1909 while employed by Glenn Curtiss. There Kearney became employed by Pfitzner, assisting his personal project, then on July 12, 1910 Pfitzner committed suicide, leaving Kearney alone with the ma-

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