02 November 2017

Samuel Gilson's Flying Machine

Salt Lake Herald Nov 25 1903

Starting about 1890, Salt Lake City residents and inventors became infatuated with various flying machines, commonly called "air ships" or "air cars." A Utah Aero Club was even established in 1909. 

Many local inventors sought to patent their designs (and some of these are even on file at the Smithsonian), but more commonly many of these designs never came to fruition and many tinkerers in this field were commonly thought of as fools.

One of the many Salt Lake folks interested in the new aeronautics field was Samuel H. Gilson (of which the mineral Gilsonite was named). He invented this unusual flying machine which he hoped to fly to the 1904 St Louis World's Fair and exhibit in the aeronautics competition (and win the $100,000 prize). 

This picture was clipped from a November 25 1903 edition of the Salt Lake Herald.

For historic context information, Wilbur and Orville Wright made their first flight at Kitty Hawk in December 1903.

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