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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • EAT MORE FISH, 1917

Up Worthy: 1910

Up Worthy: 1910

July 1910. New York. "Clifford B. Harmon seated in aeroplane." Aviator and land developer. 5x7 glass negative, Bain News Service. View full size.

 

Low and slow and fun

Aviation has advanced tremendously in the century since but I don't think anything today could beat the thrill of cruising along low and slow enjoying the scenery in a open cockpit biplane.

re Croton and the Croton-Harmon station

I'm a Croton-on-Hudson native who spent plenty of time visiting friends in Harmon, which remains a distinct neighborhood within the village.

I believe Harmon sold the land to the railroad (as opposed to donating it), but the covenant about keeping his name on the station remains.

An interesting contrast between Harmon's housing effort and the subdivisions like Levittown that came later: Harmon laid out and paved the streets, put in water and sewer, etc., but sold lots -- not houses. As a result, the neighborhood has the variety of structures you'd expect from a district that grew up organically. No rows of pink conformity there.

Ear Cylinders

The little ear cylinders may be wind deflectors to cut down on wind noise. I've seen similar devices made for bicyclists to attach to helmet straps. You can hold a finger in front of your ear if you're riding a bike or in a convertible, and the wind noise will decrease dramatically.

As for the possibility of glass ends on the fuel tank, perhaps a glass end would be a perfect "sight gauge" for determining the fuel quantity.

Stopping the draft

I notice he has his pant legs tied to prevent the "up the leg" draft.

The Question on Everyone's Mind

WHAT the heck are the little cylinders on each side of his helmet? I thought they may be covering his ears but there's a space between the helmet and the one on the right side.

[Possibly holders for jerky, tollbooth quarters, cigars or sparklers. - Dave]

Fuel Gauge?

If my eyes aren't deceiving me it looks like the entire end of the fuel tank is glass! Looks like ol' Cliff is tanked-up and ready to fly.

Clifford B. Harmon bought over 500 acres of land at what is now Croton-on-Hudson and donated it to the New York Central Railroad for the purpose of erecting a locomotive repair shop there with the stipulation that it forever be named Harmon. This is the location where the steam and Diesel locomotives were exchanged for electric powered ones for the final leg into Grand Central Terminal.

[Or is it shiny metal? Maybe brass. - Dave]

Ahead of his time

I immediately thought of this:

The original beer goggles?

Or bud vases like they used to have in electric cars?

The original beer goggles?

Or bud vases like they used to have in electric cars?

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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