1912 Winnipeg Canada, photo postcard of Borel-Morane monoplane crash

$125.00 CAD

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Photo postcard of a Borel-Morane monoplane flown by French aviator Georges Mestach, crashing on take-off at the Winnipeg Industrial Exhibition on July 10th 1912.

This plane can be found in at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.

Winnipeg July 19, 1912
Chère ---- cher frère
Cette carte vous montre le monoplane du aviator Français. Le 1er jour qu’il a monté, il es tombé --- au vent et casé la machine. Heureusement qu’il es sortis sauf de la chute et qu’il n’a pas fait d’accidents car il pouvais tuer, ou blessé beaucoup de monde. Nous l’avons vu tombé il nous as effrayé. Mille baisers…   
Dear --- Dear brother,
This card shows you the monoplane of the French aviator. The 1st day that he went up, he fell --- the wind, and broke his machine. Luckily he came out of the fall safely and did not cause accidents, he could have killed or wounded many people. We saw him fall and were shaken. Thousand kisses....

Postmarked 'WINNIPEG MAN JUL 19 1912’ on two 1 cent King George V stamps, and mailed to France, with receiving postmark ‘…31 07’.

Crease UL corner.

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


The Monoplane, according to the Canadian museum describes the single-seat aircraft has having: a simple V-leg landing gear with a small skid beside each wheel, a tall double tail skid, elliptical wingtips and a high rectangular rudder. The tailplane is fitted with tip elevators and the aft fuselage was sometimes left uncovered. The wing is braced with wires attached to a pyramidal pylon and the aircraft was usually powered by a cowled Anzani or Gnome engine of about 50 hp. The number of ribs in the Borel-Morane wings varied with the aircraft version.

That information can be found at http://casmuseum.techno-science.ca/en/collection-research/artifact-borel-morane-monoplane.php.

The actual aircraft in the possession of the museum can be traced back to the original owner: imported to the U.S. from France in 1912 by Belgian exhibition pilot Georges Mestach and his manager and mechanic Ernest Mathis.

The museum did the research showing that Mestach and Mathis took the plane across North America to make money stunt flying, with visits including Quebec City, Sherbrooke and Winnipeg.

The aircraft crashed several times, once in Winnipeg, where the harsh prairie winds proved too much for the Borel-Morane. Another crash occurred during an air meet in Chicago, and resulted in North America’s first midair collision fatality. Earl S. Daugherty, an American exhibition pilot, then acquired and flew the aircraft and it remained in his family’s possession until the Museum purchased it in 2002.