WARD T. VAN ORMAN - AUTOGRAPHED INSCRIBED PHOTOGRAPH - HFSID 201352
Sale Price $144.00
WARD T. VAN ORMAN
"The Wizard of the Wind" is shown at his desk.
Photograph inscribed and signed: "With all good wishes to/William W. Stanhope/Ward T. Van Orman". B/w10x8. Balloonist and inventor Ward T. Van Orman (1891-1978), who preferred to be called "Van," was an engineer with Goodyear Tire and Rubber from 1917 to his retirement in 1962. At Goodyear, he made a remarkable series of inventions: an inflatable life raft, a self-sealing fuel tank, a waterproof fabric for diving suits, and an airtight zipper for flight suits. Of lesser importance but equal interest were his achievements as a balloonist. He won 5 national balloon races, beginning in 1926, and survived a remarkable series of brushes with death. He made an emergency night landing on a German freighter in the Atlantic (1925), survived a lightning strike which killed his co-pilot and set his balloon aflame (1928), and confronted shotgun-armed bootleggers (who mistook him for a revenue agent) after landing in an illegal distillery during Prohibition. His autobiography was titled The Wizard of the Winds (1978). Creased. Lightly worn. Adhesive residue at top right. Otherwise, fine condition.
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