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Home-Built Airplane by Mel Thompson | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society

Photograph

Home-Built Airplane by Mel Thompson

Home-Built Airplane by Mel Thompson | Photograph | Wisconsin Historical Society
The bi-plane constructed by Melvin Thompson during the years 1918-1920 on his farm near the former quarry in Lamont Township.
DESCRIPTION
The bi-plane constructed by Melvin Thompson during the years 1918-1920 on his farm near the former quarry in Lamont Township.
RECORD DETAILS
Image ID:10548
Creation Date:
Creator Name:Unknown
City:Lamont, Town of
County:Lafayette
State:Wisconsin
Collection Name:Album 24 (Aeronautical History)
Genre:Photograph
Original Format Type:negative, b/w copy
Original Format Number:(X3)2362
Original Dimensions:4.25 x 2.75 inches
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
From 1929 to 1936 Thompson was pilot for Governor Walter J. Kohler, Sr. At that time he became manager of the Kohler Airport. In a 1953 letter Thompson stated that the photograph was taken in 1920; that he built the airplane from 1918 to 1920 while running his father's farm in Quarry, WI. "Before getting too far in building it, I took 1 hour's flight instruction at Ralph Diggins Flying School, Chicago, in 1919. In 1922 I had several hours flight instruction from Werner Bunge at Sheboygan Airport. Before that I [had] tried teaching myself and succeeded in hopping fences with my home made job. The airplane used to transport Gov. Walter J. Kohler, Sr., was a Ryan Bl, 5-place cabin. It was a sister ship to Lindbergh's 'Spirit of St. Louis'. This ship was owned by Gov. Kohler, Sr., and I was his pilot from the latter part of 1929 till about 1936, at which time I bought the Ryan to use for charter service. I have operated Kohler Airport since 1937." According to an email from Judith Tadych, this plane was built on the Thompson Farm in the Town of Rockland in Manitowoc County. [1/17/2007]
SUBJECTS
Protective clothing
Land use, Rural
Men
Outdoor photography
Airplanes

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Reference Details
Location:Wisconsin Historical Society Archives, 4th Floor, Madison, Wisconsin

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