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Meanwhile, after Curtiss left to go south, Kleckler and some of the former staff men and old Curtiss employees formed the Aerial Service Company at Hammondsport in 1920 to manufacture lighter-than-air craft and accessories. They later merged into plane developments and designed and built some early mail planes. In 1927 they sold the business to Harvey Mummert and Joseph Meade who changed the name to Mercury Aircraft Company and continued the business. Following this Curtiss persuaded Kleckler to join him in Florida to assist in a number of developments he had going there in an experimental way. Curtiss apparently had several things under way but his main interests were house trailers and a radical, light weight, streamlined automobile. Curtiss had gathered several of his favorite former associates into a small research and development group and Kleckler remained there until Curtiss passed away in 1930. After this Kleckler tried to sell the automobile development in Detroit, but without success. He then opened his own shop in Bath, New York doing experimental developmental work under contract for various aircraft companies. Later he turned his private business into more general activities, including refrigeration. This continued until World War II when he went to Buffalo, New York on experimental work for Curtiss-Wright throughout the war period. Following the war he returned to Bath and reopened his shop where he continued job work for some time. Kleckler was specially honored at Hammondsport on May 20th, 1961 at a meeting of the OX-5 Club o America during a Curtiss Memorial Banquet. There he received a standing ovation and was speechless by his large public recognition. This famed and wonderful gentleman passed away in Bath on April 8th, 1963 at age 81, survived by his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren. He was buried in Pleasant Valley Cemetery, Hammondsport, close by the Curtiss burial plot. Kleckler was a member of the Masonic organization, an OX-5 member and held a special Glenn Curtiss Medal given him in 1958. Aviation Pioneer extraordinary, Henry Kleckler was a modest man who never sought publicity. Well known and highly respected, he undoubtedly contributed more to the early development of aviation and the success of the Curtiss ac- 3 [[stamp]] FROM THE FLYING PIONEERS BIOGRAPHIES OF HAROLD E. MOOREHOUSE [[/stamp]]
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