Re: Baggage Car As An Airplane Parts Carrier


Claus Schlund \(HGM\)
 

Hi Bob and List members,

Thanks Bob for the great image. Certainly there are a number of questions raised here...

(1) Is this a wood construction car? Steel baggage cars would have been few and far between in 1911...

(2) Whose car might it have been? I'm assuming this is a repurposed car from a 'normal' railroad, as opposed to a purpose-built car. I see no road name nor reporting marks. Hmmm, now that I think about it, maybe this is simply a retouched photo and the car did not look this way in real life?

(3) Bob mentioned "an offer of $50,000 to the first person who could fly a plane from New York to Los Angeles in under 30 consecutive days". I'm guessing it might have been faster to take the train to Los Angeles! I submit the fact that the baggage car was able to keep up with the airplane as evidence of this


Enjoy!


Claus Schlund





On 13-Jun-22 02:19, Bob Chaparro via groups.io wrote:

Baggage Car As An Airplane Parts Carrier

This is a photo of a baggage car converted into an airplane parts carrier and rolling promotional billboard.

It was employed in 1911 by Armour & Company to support an airplane entered in a coast-to-coast contest in which the plane and the baggage car promoted Vin Fiz, a grape-flavored drink. This was one of several drinks marketed by Armour.

Newspaper publisher William Randolph Hurst made an offer of $50,000 to the first person who could fly a plane from New York to Los Angeles in under 30 consecutive days. Calbraith "Cal" Perry Rogers took up the challenge, sponsored by Armour.

To keep the plane running, Armour outfitted the baggage car, emblazoned with Vin Fitz advertising and loaded with airplane parts. It took Rogers 56 days to cross the country.  He crashed so often that there were very few original parts left on the plane when he finally made it to Los Angeles. Even so, he and the flying collection of plane parts were the first to cross the United States from coast to coast.

And Vin Fiz? It never really took off. Apparently, people didn’t like the taste.

The plane hangs in the Smithsonian.

Bob Chaparro

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