A report on John Alexander Douglas McCurdy

The AEA Silver Dart in flight, J.A.D. McCurdy at the controls, c. 1910
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Canadian aviation pioneer and the 20th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia from 1947 to 1952.

- John Alexander Douglas McCurdy

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AEA member John Alexander Douglas McCurdy at the controls of an airplane during an aviation 'meet' near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, c. August 1911. The starboard-side of the transverse "shoulder-yoke" hinged structure for aileron control, in the general form of an upper seat support frame, is visible beside the seated pilot.

Aerial Experiment Association

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Canadian-American aeronautical research group formed on 30 September 1907, under the leadership of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell.

Canadian-American aeronautical research group formed on 30 September 1907, under the leadership of Dr. Alexander Graham Bell.

AEA member John Alexander Douglas McCurdy at the controls of an airplane during an aviation 'meet' near Toronto, Ontario, Canada, c. August 1911. The starboard-side of the transverse "shoulder-yoke" hinged structure for aileron control, in the general form of an upper seat support frame, is visible beside the seated pilot.
Aerial Experiment Association members Casey Baldwin, Tom Selfridge, Glenn Curtiss, Alexander Graham Bell, John McCurdy and Augustus Post serving as observer from Aero Club of America.

The AEA came into being when John Alexander Douglas McCurdy and his friend Frederick W. "Casey" Baldwin, two recent engineering graduates of the University of Toronto, decided to spend the summer in Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

"Casey" Baldwin at Ridley College, circa 1900

Frederick Walker Baldwin

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Hydrofoil and aviation pioneer and partner of the famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell.

Hydrofoil and aviation pioneer and partner of the famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell.

"Casey" Baldwin at Ridley College, circa 1900
Aerial Experiment Association. Casey (second from right), Bell (centre), McCurdy, Curtis, and Selfridge

In 1906, he graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in electrical and mechanical engineering, and left for Baddeck, Nova Scotia, that summer to visit the home of his college friend Douglas McCurdy and the famous inventor Alexander Graham Bell.

Bell c. undefined 1917

Alexander Graham Bell

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Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone.

Scottish-born inventor, scientist and engineer who is credited with patenting the first practical telephone.

Bell c. undefined 1917
Melville House, the Bells' first home in North America, now a National Historic Site of Canada
Bell, top right, providing pedagogical instruction to teachers at the Boston School for Deaf Mutes, 1871. Throughout his life, he referred to himself as "a teacher of the deaf".
Alexander Graham Bell's telephone patent drawing, March 7, 1876
The master telephone patent, 174465, March 7, 1876
An actor playing Bell in a 1926 film holds Bell's first telephone transmitter
Bell at the opening of the long-distance line from New York to Chicago in 1892
Alexander Graham Bell, his wife Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, and their daughters Elsie (left) and Marian ca. 1885
The Brodhead–Bell mansion, the Bell family residence in Washington, D.C., from 1882 to 1889
Alexander Graham Bell in his later years
Photophone receiver, one half of Bell's wireless optical communication system, ca. 1880
Bell's HD-4 on a test run ca. 1919
AEA Silver Dart ca. 1909
Bell statue by A. E. Cleeve Horne in front of the Bell Telephone Building of Brantford, Ontario, The Telephone City. (Brantford Heritage Inventory, City of Brantford)
A quote by Alexander Graham Bell engraved in the stone wall within the Peace Chapel of the International Peace Garden (in Manitoba Canada and North Dakota, USA).
The Bell Museum, Cape Breton, part of the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
A.G. Bell issue of 1940
Bell, an alumnus of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LL.D.) at the university in 1906

The AEA was headed by Bell and the founding members were four young men: American Glenn H. Curtiss, a motorcycle manufacturer at the time and who held the title "world's fastest man", having ridden his self-constructed motor bicycle around in the shortest time, and who was later awarded the Scientific American Trophy for the first official one-kilometre flight in the Western hemisphere, and who later became a world-renowned airplane manufacturer; Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, an official observer from the U.S. Federal government and one of the few people in the army who believed that aviation was the future; Frederick W. Baldwin, the first Canadian and first British subject to pilot a public flight in Hammondsport, New York; and J. A. D. McCurdy–Baldwin and McCurdy being new engineering graduates from the University of Toronto.

The AEA Silver Dart in flight.

AEA Silver Dart

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Derivative of an early aircraft built by a Canadian/U.S. team, which after many successful flights in Hammondsport, New York, earlier in 1908, was dismantled and shipped to Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

Derivative of an early aircraft built by a Canadian/U.S. team, which after many successful flights in Hammondsport, New York, earlier in 1908, was dismantled and shipped to Baddeck, Nova Scotia.

The AEA Silver Dart in flight.
The Silver Dart replica taxies to the starting point for its commemorative flight on 22 February 2009. It was celebrating Canada's Centennial of Flight a day early, due to predicted unfavourable weather.
Silver Dart replica

The aircraft was piloted by one of its designers, Douglas McCurdy.

Glenn Curtiss c. 1909

Glenn Curtiss

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American aviation and motorcycling pioneer, and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry.

American aviation and motorcycling pioneer, and a founder of the U.S. aircraft industry.

Glenn Curtiss c. 1909
Glenn Curtiss on his V-8 motorcycle in 1907
The June Bug on its prize-winning historic flight with Curtiss at the controls
Souvenir postcard of the Grande Semaine d'Aviation, 1909
"Firm Believers in Trans-Atlantic Aviation", Porte and Curtiss on the cover of Aero and Hydro, March 14, 1914
A Curtiss JN-4 (Jenny) on a training flight during World War I
Time cover, October 13, 1924
Glenn H. Curtiss's pilot license
The 1913 Langley Medal awarded to Curtiss
Tombstone
Curtiss Motorcycle at San Francisco Motorcycle Club

During the 1909–1910 period, Curtiss employed a number of demonstration pilots, including Eugene Ely, Charles K. Hamilton, J.A.D. McCurdy, Augustus Post, and Hugh Robinson.

St. Andrew's College, Aurora

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Independent boarding and day school founded in 1899 and located in Aurora, Ontario, Canada.

Independent boarding and day school founded in 1899 and located in Aurora, Ontario, Canada.

St. Andrew's College in Rosedale, Toronto, circa 1910s, prior to the move to Aurora, Ontario
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Picture of the School's first cadet corps in 1905.

John Alexander Douglas McCurdy - Member of the Aerial Experiment Association, inventor of the aileron, and the 19th Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia (1947–1952).

Dominion astrophysical observatory

Arthur Williams McCurdy

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Canadian businessman, inventor and astronomer.

Canadian businessman, inventor and astronomer.

Dominion astrophysical observatory

He was the father of the pioneering aviator John Alexander Douglas McCurdy.

Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame

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Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame, based in the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada, commemorates and honours those whose accomplishments in aviation contributed so much to Canada's development as a nation.

Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame, based in the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada, commemorates and honours those whose accomplishments in aviation contributed so much to Canada's development as a nation.

View from inside the Aviation Hangar Exhibit at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum
Official medal of Canada's Aviation Hall of Fame
Belt of Orion Award of Excellence

John Alexander Douglas McCurdy (1974)

Aerial image of Long Branch Aerodrome in 1916

Long Branch Aerodrome

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Airfield located west of Toronto, Ontario and just east of Port Credit, now Mississauga, and was Canada's first aerodrome.

Airfield located west of Toronto, Ontario and just east of Port Credit, now Mississauga, and was Canada's first aerodrome.

Aerial image of Long Branch Aerodrome in 1916
Image of Curtiss airplane at Long Branch Aerodrome in 1917

John Alexander Douglas McCurdy, the first person to fly an airplane in the British Empire, was hired as the airport's first manager.

Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame

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Located at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, honoured Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to society in science and engineering.

Located at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Ontario, honoured Canadians who have made outstanding contributions to society in science and engineering.

John A.D. McCurdy (1886–1961)