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Todd (Slim) Schriver

Early Baldwin Exhibition Flyer

Todd Schriver was born at Manchester, Ohio, June 3, 1873. He attended local schools and was learning the printing trade when he decided to join the Ringling Brothers Circus. Later he went with the Barnum and Bailey Circus and traveled around the world.

Capt. T. S. Baldwin found Schriver with the circus and offered him a job in his balloon business. He accepted and reportedly started with Baldwin at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904 and remained on with him as a staunch employee. In 1907-1908 Schriver assisted Baldwin with the building of his first United States Army dirigible at Hammondsport, and there he became acquainted with Glenn Curtiss. Schriver then assisted with the U.S. Government trials of the airship at Ft. Meyer, Virginia, in August, 1908, and was present when Orville Wright made his first demonstration flights before military officers. 

When Curtiss began experimenting with airplanes Schriver left Baldwin and joined Curtiss at Hammondsport as a mechanic. There he developed into an exceptional all-around workman and quite an expert with motors. In this capacity Schriver was of great assistance through the entire period of the Aerial Experiment Association and Curtiss came to reply on him to check his plane and tune up the motor before starting a flight. As a result Schriver was chosen to head the crew when Curtiss went to France for the first International Cup Race at Rheims in August, 1909. During these activities Schriver became interested in building a plane of his own and learning to fly.

Apparently he left Curtiss during the winter of 1909-1910, and went to Long Island, New York, where he built a plane in a barn during the spring and summer months of 1910. Schriver was financially supported in this project by wealthy New York lamp manufacturere Howard J. Dietz. Known as the Dietz-Schriver their new plane was modified Curtiss-type biplane using a 6-cylinder Kirkham engine, soon they organized the Hempstead Aeroplane Company Hill Road, Hempstead, New York, to manufacture, deal in and exhibit planes. By late July Schriver
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