Friday, November 23, 2007

Airplanes in Jamaica Plain?

Here's an interesting historical nugget: a pilot having an airplane built in Jamaica Plain in 1911 for a flight across the Atlantic. Needless to say, he never made it, and Jamaica Plain didn't enter the aeronautical history books.

Boston Daily Globe February 11, 1911

To Fly Across The Atlantic Carter Starts March 19 in Aeroplane. Aims to Do It in 49 Hours After Leaving Sandy Hook. His Machine Will Be Built at Jamaica Plain.

Harry Graham Carter, the English aviator, yesterday afternoon leased a building in Jamaica Plain in which he will have constructed an all-metal aeroplane in which he will attempt to fly from this country to England in 49 hours, starting March 19.

With several men well-known in the automobile business he closed negotiations in which he takes over the lease of a three-story garage at 10 Green st which runs through to 13 Centre pl. Here in a few days, work of constructing the aeroplane in which he will attempt the record flight will be started by a force of mechanics. Mr Carter will remain in Boston to supervise the work.

"I shall start from Sandy Hook March 19, and I expect to make the flight across the ocean in 49 hours," said the aviator to a Globe reporter last night.

Mr Carter estimates the distance he will fly as 2400 miles. His aeroplane is to be equipped with two 30-horse-power motors, which will drive twin-screw aluminum propellers. The machine, it is expected, will have a maximum speed of 90 miles an hour, but the average will be between 65 and 70 miles.

"I am serious in my purpose to fly to England," said the rosy-cheeked English aviator. "That's what I am in America for. I am convinced that I can do it. I hope to strike the coast about at Queenstown. I shall go as straight as the compass will let me steer.

"I have tried out my motors. They will run for 27 hours, but I expect to perfect them so that they will run for 54 hours. The aeroplane will carry 36 gallons of gasoline.

The aeroplane in which Mr Carter expects to make the remarkable flight will be tandem. All the frame work is to be made of steel, and the wings are to be covered with a special material which he calls parchment. The planes are to be 50 feet wide. The framework is to be of hollow tubing, in order that it may be filled with gasoline. In this way the aviator hopes to carry the necessary fuel without adding undue weight and head resistance. He will carry sufficient food in a compartment to last several days.

Mr Carter said last night that probably a week will be spent in making the building in Jamaica Plain ready for the purpose to which it is to be put, and as soon as this is done the work of constructing the aeroplane will begin.

He added that he is strongly tempted to try his skill at making a flight from New York to San Francisco, as a prize of $20,000 has been offered for such a flight.


This map shows us the top of Green street in 1899. The pink colored block owned by T.E. Turnbull is at 10 Green st. By 1905, there was another brick building standing behind this one on Centre place (now Greenview street). I assume that the Turnbull building is the one referred to in the article.

Another company built airplanes in Jamaica Plain, but that's another story.

1 comment:

  1. Harry Graham Carter,aviation experimenter and parachute jumper was a 30 year old American who lived in England for 19 years and returned to New York City on December 19,1910. He planned to take his aeroplane, which arrived from England a month ago aboard a passenger liner and head out to sea 100 miles and then fly back to land. He stated he had flown this plane in England 62 miles at 1,200'. He also plans to make a parachute jump from 8,000 feet in New York.
    Article from the New York Times 12/20/1910

    Link to the PDF: