Viewing page 9 of 17

 America designed exclusively for airlines use. It was a large twin-engine pusher biplane of 108 ft. span, overall length of 50 ft. and powered by Liberty engines. It had a large biplane box-type tail assembly with twin rudders. The seats for 26 passengers could easily be removed and berths substituted for night passenger travel. It was the first plane with fully enclosed pilot and co-pilot cockpits and controls in the forward end of the massive fuselage. The completed weight was 12,000 lb.
During this period Lawson obtained army and navy board flying license #678.
After first tests Lawson started an ambitious flying tour of American cities to introduce the plane. Starting from Milwaukee, Lawson, Cox, Burnelli and two mechanics flew the plane to Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Buffalo, Syracuse, New York, Washington, Dayton, and back to Milwaukee on an extended trip. Enough time was taken at each stop to carry prominent people as passengers and toget the maximum publicity coverage. In Washington, D.C., Lawson catered to the highest government and military dignitaries, and huge crowds greeted them every-where to see this new huge plane. Soon he made  a second tour of mid-western cities.
As a result of these successful trips Lawson had great plans for building a fleet of AIRLINERS and starting National Mail and Passenger lines. Burnelli left the Lawson Aircraft Company at that time and returned east. Lawson went on to build a second large airliner, a tri-motored plane which was reportedly lost on its first trial flight. He lived to see his dream of airlines come true, but he was ahead of his time, and in spite of his gifted promotional ability he was unable to sell such a vast project, and the Lawson Aircraft Company was dissolved in 1921. 
    He then organized the Lawson Aircraft Company in New York doing aircraft consulting and promoting aviation ideas. He also did some work on busses and a trans-oceanic float landing system. Later Lawson was involved in the "Townsend Share-The-Wealth Plan" and edited literature pertaining to it, called the BENEFACTOR. After that he started the Des Moines University in Iowa. Always a bachelor Lawson passed away in San Antonio, Texas on November 29, 1954 at age 85.

Transcription Notes:

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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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