Sunday, August 12, 2012

From 1912: Hamilton Flies In Middletown

The following article is from 100 years ago today, originally appearing in the Hartford Courant on August 12, 1912.

Charles Keeny Hamilton was a native of New Britain, Connecticut. He made the first flight in Connecticut in New Britain, before a crowd of 50,000 people. He was a daredevil who switched form skydiving out of dirigibles to flying planes. He survived dozens of airplane crashes, and is said to have died form tuberculosis and pneumonia in 1914.

Exhibitions drew large crowd despite Sunday Laws.
Charles K. Hamilton made three successful flights at Crystal Lake Park, on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. On Saturday afternoon he sailed from the park, which is located about two miles out, up over the lower part of the city. The flight was successful but in making a landing, he split some of the bamboo poles on his machine and this ended his flying for the afternoon. This afternoon he made two successful flights in the vicinity of the park.

There were about 600 people at the park on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday afternoon there were over 1,000 people present. The crowds going and coming resembled old times when the trolley company conducted a summer park at Lakeview. There has been some objection to an open Sunday here, but it was noticeable that some of the representative people of this vicinity were in attendance at the exhibition this afternoon. Baseball games were played in connection with the aeroplane exhibition on both days.

The street committee of the common council is preparing to pave East Court Street. The curbe line is being straightened and the curbstones reset preparatory to the work on the street which will be started on August 20. The street will be paved with "Amiesite" paving and the contract for the work has been let to Amiesite Company which has rock quarries in Middlefield. The property owners on the street have agreed to stand the expense of the new paving.

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