One of the attractions at Portland’s 1905 Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition was a series of airship flights by the famed young aeronaut, Lincoln Beachey.
On September 19, 1905 he took off from the expo in the airship City of Portland (using the gasbag from the airship Gelatine) with a letter from Theodore Hardee, assistant to the president of the exposition, addressed to General Constant Williams, Post Commander, at Vancouver Barracks, which was nine miles away (Morning Oregonian, 20 September 1905). Beachey took the airship to 2000 feet and headed to Vancouver, landing in the Vancouver Barracks’ Pearson Field about forty minutes later.
The successful flight was the first use of Pearson Field as an airfield, the first aerial crossing of the Columbia River, a new airship endurance record at the time, and possibly the first time a letter had been delivered by airship (Pearson Air Museum).
Image credit: Dirigible landing photo from The History of Pearson Field at the Pearson Air Museum website.
Leave a Reply