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310/311 THE THOMAS BROTHERS Pioneer Aeronautical Engineers - Plane Builders WILLIAM T. THOMAS OLIVER W. THOMAS Born: Rosario, Argentine Republic Born: Rosario, Argentine Republic September 18, 1887 November 4, 1882 The Thomas Brothers pioneer aviation biographies should be recorded jointly because their early aviation engineering and plane building accomplishments were made as a team. After receiving elementary schooling in Argentina, William Thomas attended Dulwich Preparatory School at Dulwich College in Great Britain from 1900 to 1904, then the Central Technical College, London, where he graduated in Civil and Mechanical Engineering in 1908. During this period he also served an apprenticeship with the British Westinghouse Company at Trafford, England. While in college and serving his apprenticeship William became very interested in aeronautics, endeavoring to learn all he could about the new science, and was one of the founding members of the Aero Club of Great Britain and Ireland early in 1908. In June of that year he came to the United Sates to work for the Herring-Curtiss Company, Hammondsport, New York, where he did drafting and designing of motorcycle and aircraft engines for Glenn Curtiss and Captain Thomas Baldwin through 1909. There he also witnessed the aircraft program of the Aerial Experiment Association. Oliver Thomas, also a British engineering graduate, had come to the United States before William, as an engineer in the test laboratory of General Electric at Schenectady, New York. In late 1909 William "got the bug" to build an airplane at Hammondsport. Working in a barn he started the construction of a biplane of his own design, embodying many new and unique ideas. With the help of two local mechanics, Bert
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