Collection Item Summary:
In the United States, the Requa Gibson Company of New York City, led by Hugh C. Gibson, became the first American propeller manufacturer in 1909. The company began by crafting copies of Chauviére designs, but it then pioneered distinctively American designs by E.W. Bonson. The success of this pioneer propeller manufacturer was short-lived. The company went bankrupt in June 1911.
This 1911 artifact was owned and used by William C. Miller, the donor's father and member of the Early Birds of Aviation, an organization of pioneers who flew solo before December 17, 1916. The son recalls that the aircraft was probably a pre-WWI Curtiss-type that was built by his father. With other flyers from his community, William Miller made numerous exhibition flights in the Erie County area of Pennsylvania. In 1914, Miller engaged in flights at Chicago's Grant Park.