Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Shooting star

Jimmie Ward's "Shooting Star", 1911. Courtesy of the Archives of Manitoba (n892).

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From the Free Press archives: 

"Heading off the programme and perhaps of the most lively interest will be the aviation performance of George Mestach and Jimmie Ward. Monoplane and biplane will be seen for the first time side by side in the west. Mestach has a French machine, the very one which, driven by Jules Vedrines, took first place in the famous flight from Paris to Madrid last year. Mestach makes his specialty the delivery of letters and parcels and will no doubt oblige those who are desirous of taking advantage of the new mode of quick delivery at the fair. Ward is more of a sensationalist and his "Shooting Star" is a well known machine through the States, where he has electrified the spectators on more than one occasion by his daring." - July 6, 1912 description of the Canadian Industrial exhibition in Winnipeg.

For a more detailed discussion of Ward's history, see the 1995 article in the Minnesota Historical Society's History magazine.

(Born Jens P. Wilson, Ward changed his name to avoid a number of speeding tickets: "His affinity for speed soon caused him to take on a new last name, because his police record for speeding stood in the way of keeping his license.")

Again, this image came to us courtesy of film editor Bob Lower.

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