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RALPH S. BARNABY. Photograph signed: "Ralph Barnaby" in caption on verso. B/w, 7x5. In handwritten ink caption on verso, Barnaby has identified the event depicted and the participants. In full: "This picture was taken in 1912 when members of the N.Y. Model Airplane Club went to Staten Island to learn how to glide in a Witterman Bros Glider/1 Commander Ralph Barnaby Ret. Navy Glider EB/2 Frank Schober EB/3 Geo Page Jr. EB/4 Harry Graulich EB./5 Mr. Ed Durant Official/Geo Page made these enlargements from pictures I had". "EB" is the designation for the "Early Birds", a group of pilots who received their flying licenses before 1916; Barnaby was among the Presidents of the organization. Ralph S. Barnaby (1883-1986), who was named an "elder statesman of aviation" by the National Aeronautic Association, designed, built and flew his first "hang-type" glider in 1909 at age 16. In 1930, Barnaby, who held glider pilot's license #1, made aviation history when his glider was launched from a plane some 3,000 feet above Los Angeles. Twenty years later, he was the Captain of the U.S. team in the first world soaring championship, held in Sweden in 1950. A founder of the Soaring Society of America, Barnaby also wrote a number of books on gliding. Serving in the U.S. Navy from 1917-1947, he was an advocate that every pilot should receive glider training, pointing out that even the X-15 became a glider when its fuel was spent. Stamp at upper right background. Surface creased. Lightly soiled at blank margins. Overall, fine condition.

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