James Lee Simmons began designing, experimenting, and making propellers at his Washington Aeroplane Company factory (which was sponsored by Emile Berliner) located on Water Street in the southwestern area of the District during the 1909–1910 period. Like other early aircraft manufacturers, Simmons also fabricated Wright-type propellers, as well as variations of Chauvière and other French designers. By 1913, the company was manufacturing a line of Columbia monoplanes, biplanes, and flying boats based on European and American designs. By 1915 the company switched back to concentrating on the design and construction of propellers. After World War I, Simmons worked for Emile Berliner in the construction of his helicopters.