Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tinicum Air School, Keith tour, lots of History happenings coming!

I recently obtained some 30 glass plate negatives of Tinicum Township from the early 1900's. This group of buildings stood near the Lazaretto but I have no idea what they were used for. Anyone out there know. Thanks Keith 


Note. In preparation for the First World War the Federal Government began to establish "Air Schools" as far back as 1915 to get more pilots ready.


Tinicum Air School


School of Aviation to be established on what Was Formerly State Quarantine Grounds

    A volunteer force of air pilots which would be available for duty in case of war may receive instruction in aviation school to be established at “The Orchard,” the site of the old quarantine station known as the Lazaretto, owned by Philadelphia at Essington.  Judge J. Willis Martin, Robert Glendenning, the banker, and several other men prominent in financial circles of Philadelphia, are sponsors for the proposition.
    The bill has been introduced in Common Councils, of Philadelphia, by Joseph P. Garrney, chairman of the Finance Committee, providing for the lease of “The Orchard” to “The Philadelphia School of Aviation,” the corporation formed by Mr. Glendenning and his friends to finance the scheme, for a term of ten years at the nominal rental of one dollar a year.
   Contracts have already been let for the erection of two hangars, each 150 feet long, 50 feet wide and 40 feet high.  Six or eight hydroplanes will be purchased and installed in these hangars, which will be completed about the middle of April.  Capable instructors will be employed and it is hoped to be able to open the school by the first of May.
    “I wish to make it clear,” said Mr. Glendenning, “that we have absolutely no thought of making money out of this proposition.  In fact we will be perfectly satisfied if we can keep our annual deficit down to reasonable figures.  We realize that the United States must have officers and men for an aviation corps if our plans for national preparedness are to be complete.”
    “It seems to me that we will be doing a real service to the country if we make it possible for young men who have the physique, the steady nerves, the courage and the enthusiasm to become air pilots to learn how to fly without forcing them to go far from home and spend more money and time than they can afford to accomplish the same end.”
    “It costs $500 just for the instruction fee to learn how to fly at the Hammondsport, N.Y. school, and it takes six weeks to six months to complete the course.  All that time the pupil has to live at Hammondsport, and has to pay his own expenses, board, lodging, and so on.  We hope to be able to charge a lower fee, but even if that is not possible, the pupils will not have to leave their business and will be able to live at their own homes.  It only takes forty-five minutes and only costs five cents to get to “The Orchard.”  A telephone message from the school about 3 o’clock and a man could be there taking his lesson by 4:30 o’clock.  And usually late afternoon is the best time for practice flights.”
    “The Federal Government is hardly likely to establish any more aviation schools,” continued Mr. Glendenning, “and so it will be up to the States, the large cities, or private persons to handle this phase of the preparedness campaign.  Other States have already made plans for constructing such a plant as will be built at Essington, providing of course, that Councils gives the necessary sanction.  IN my opinion the old Lazaretto grounds, which have laid idle for a long time, would make an ideal aviation center and could not be used to any better purpose.”
    The Federal Government has aviation schools at Fort Meyer, near Washington, on Long Island, in Florida, and in California, but they are for the use of army officers for the most part.

Please come to my walking tour! Try to email me early and reserve a spot

Space is limited. Tours will start at the table of the Ridley Park Historical Society table the day of the Victorian Fair


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