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 with Elyse Luray Szyk Picture Could these be early drawings of America's most influential political cartoonist?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Bootlegger's Notebook Does this book belong to a Prohibition era bootlegger?
- Also in this episode Bartlett Sketchbook Does a leather bound sketchbook hold the key to some of the US' most significant history?
- Related Investigation Japanese Balloon Bomb Is this scrap of fabric evidence of a secret wartime attack on the United States' mainland?
- Also in Emerging Modern America: 1890-1930 Shippen Golf Club Was this the golf club used by John Shippen when he made sporting history in the 1896 U.S. Open?
- Also with Elyse Luray Kittery Telescope What can this telescope reveal about America’s earliest struggles for independence?
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.