Viewing page 6 of 13

3/2 Clarke THOMPSON 
Wealthly Sportsman Pilot 

Clarkes Thompson was born at Merion Station, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, October 13, 1875, son of the then President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He attended local schools, then Groton Prep School, Groton, Massachusetts. He entered Harvard University in 1895 and graduated in 1899. After leaving college he took a 3-year course at the Altoona shops of the Pennnsylvania Railroad, then went into the employee of the railroad where he remained for about one year after which he resigned. 

In April, 1908, he went to Europe and traveled extensively through Italy, France and Great Britain. Following this he toured India, China, and Japan. 

During his travels he became interested in aviation and returned home to take up flying. He signed up for instruction with the George Beatty School at Nassau Boulevard, Long Island, in the early spring of 1912. There he learned to fly a Wright biplane and obtained F.A.I. License No. 112, dated April 10,1912. In the same class of students were L. H. DeRemer, Clifford Prodger, Wilber Andrews, William Piceller and F.W. Kemper. At that time Thompson became a member of the Aero Club of America. 

Following this he returned to Europe to review aviation there and made a number of flights with Maurice Farman in France. It is reported that he also took some monoplane instruction while in Europe. 

When he returned home he became very interested in American flying boat developments, as many of his sportsmen friends were buying them for personal use. During the fall moths of 1914,  Thompson made a number of flights with the Jannus brothers in their flying boats at Baltimore, Maryland. Some flights were made to hunt ducks from the air. 

In June, 1915, Thompson ordered a new Curtiss Model F boat, with a Curtiss OXX engine and went to Hammondsport, New York, for some flying boat instruction to become acquainted with the controls and operation. When his boat was
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 As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology.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