Cromwell Dixon: A Boy & His Plane, 1892-1911

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9781560374732: Cromwell Dixon: A Boy & His Plane, 1892-1911
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Hailed as a mechanical genius in 1907 at the age of 13, teenage inventor Cromwell Dixon built and flew airships in Ohio before signing on with the famous Glenn Curtiss in New York and flying the world's first airplanes.

At age 19, Dixon became the first pilot in history to fly over the Continental Divide. He made the landmark flight from Helena, Montana, in 1911 before a sudden crash took his life three days later in Spokane, Washington.

In a richly detailed foreword, Jeff Berry, great-nephew of Cromwell Dixon, reveals family stories about Dixon, including how he built his own roller coaster, two motor-driven bicycles, and, at the age of 15, a pedal-powered airship known as the Skycycle. Berry also shares never-before-seen Dixon family photographs.

Like the tale of Icarus, Dixon's story is one of great daring, accomplishment, and tragedy.

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About the Author:

Martin Kidston graduated from the University of Montana-Missoula in 1997 after serving in the Marines. He lives in Helena, where he works as a newspaper reporter for the Helena Independent Record and as a freelance writer. He is the author of From Poplar to Papua: Montana' s 163rd Infantry Regiment in WWII and coauthor, with Barbara Fifer, of Wanted! Wanted Posters of the Old West.

Review:

Cromwell Dixon was a boy aviator in name only; he was mature beyond his years. He saw America, and Montana, from a rare vantage point high in his aeroplane. Cromwell participated in the shaping of aviations beginnings, when all flying was stunt flying; he tested himself and his plane to tragic limits. Kidston explores with sensitivity and creativity the fast-paced life of a forgotten hero. --Richard Sims, director of the Montana Historical Society in Helena, Montana

Cromwell Dixon's tragically short life story is a tale of pure courage and skill that biographer Kidston handles with fondness, empathy, and a historian's reverence for detail. --Tom Harpole, Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine

The amazing young flyer Cromwell Dixon comes wonderfully to life in Martin Kidston's impassioned and meticulous account of Dixon s brief career. A terrific read. --Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover and Rima in the Weeds and professor of creative writing, University of Montana Missoula

Cromwell Dixon's tragically short life story is a tale of pure courage and skill that biographer Kidston handles with fondness, empathy, and a historian's reverence for detail. --Tom Harpole, Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine

The amazing young flyer Cromwell Dixon comes wonderfully to life in Martin Kidston's impassioned and meticulous account of Dixon s brief career. A terrific read. --Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover and Rima in the Weeds and professor of creative writing, University of Montana Missoula

Cromwell Dixon's tragically short life story is a tale of pure courage and skill that biographer Kidston handles with fondness, empathy, and a historian's reverence for detail. --Tom Harpole, Smithsonian Air and Space Magazine

The amazing young flyer Cromwell Dixon comes wonderfully to life in Martin Kidston's impassioned and meticulous account of Dixon s brief career. A terrific read. --Deirdre McNamer, author of Red Rover and Rima in the Weeds and professor of creative writing, University of Montana Missoula

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