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1911 photo postcard of a Curtiss Hydro-Airplane, Prairie du Chien WI

Nice image of pilot Hugh Robinson standing on the pontoon of his Curtiss Hydro-Airplane on the Mississippi River at Prairie du Chien Wisconsin. He was trying to fly from Minneapolis to New Orleans along the river.

Labeled in negative ‘Aviator Robinson at Pra_ du Chien, Wis. Oct. 19,11

Penciled text on back

Based on scarce photographic paper used (AZO), dates from 1911.

Deep crack LL corner, repaired on backside with tape. Another crack along left border, crease UL corner. Smudges on back

(Red text is an electronic watermark that is not physically part of the photo for sale)


Hugh Armstrong Robinson (1881 – 1963) was a pioneer in the earliest days of aviation, combining his skills of inventor, pilot, and daredevil. Among other things, he is said to have been the third person to successfully fly an aircraft after the Wright Brothers in a plane of his own design and construction and the first person to make an air-sea rescue. His many firsts also include the first medical flight transporting a doctor to patient in Hammond, N.Y. in June 1912 and first U.S. airmail flight in 1911. Robinson also devised the term and art of dive-bombing.


Hugh Robinson's Curtiss seaplane, with its "lucky" number thirteen medallion, on the bank of the Mississippi River, at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, on October 19, 1911, during his attempted flight down the river, from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to New Orleans, Louisiana, during October 17-20.

He cut short the flight at Rock Island, Illinois, after 375 miles and after learning that a prize for completing such a flight was rescinded, by its sponsors.


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