Cromwell Dixon Plane Fragment
Our contributor has a four by three inch swatch of fabric she found among her late grandfather’s possessions.
On it are written the words “Dixon” and “Grand Island, 1911.” She wonders if the name refers to the pioneering aviator, Cromwell Dixon. Reporters called Dixon the “Boy Genius” pilot.
At 19 years old, Dixon was the first man to fly across the Continental Divide. Two days later he crashed at an exhibition in Spokane, Washington. He died a few hours later.
Could this piece of fabric be the last remaining artifact of Cromwell Dixon’s brief aviation career?
History Detectives talks with a Cromwell Dixon biographer, consults with the curator at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, and finally comes across a key clue at the Stuhr Museum in Grand Island, Nebraska.
- Also in Season 8 Modoc Basket What tales does this basket weave of the heroism of an American-Indian woman?
- Also with Elyse Luray Andrew Jackson's Mouth How was this wood fragment connected to one of the most celebrated political protests of the 19th century?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Red Hand Flag Is this peculiar flag one that African-American soldiers marched under in the war to end all wars?
- Related Investigation Lubin Photos What do these photo albums reveal about the birth of the silver screen?
- Also with Elyse Luray Cannon House Could this family home once have been the headquarters of the kidnapper and slave trader Patty Cannon?
- Also with Elyse Luray GAR Photograph How did two African Americans come to be part of this photograph in Reconstructionist-era America?
This is a place for opinions, comments, questions and discussion; a place where viewers of History Detectives can express their points of view and connect with others who value history. We ask that posters be polite and respectful of all opinions. History Detectives reserves the right to delete comments that don’t conform to this conduct. We will not respond to every post, but will do our best to answer specific questions, or address an error.