Archive for Saturday, August 31, 2013

100 years ago: New propellor invented by Lawrence brothers, tested by ‘aeroplanists’

August 31, 2013


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 31, 1913:

  • "INVENTION PROMISES MUCH TO AEROPLANISTS -- An invention which may in a way revolutionize the flying game has been patented by two Lawrence boys and tests that have been made give the boys encouragement that their invention will prove a great success. The inventors are Paul and Harry Elliott of 1407 Haskell avenue. Their discovery is known as a 'Variable Pitch Propeller' for aeroplanes and by using this on their machines aviators will have much better control of their crafts than they have had in the past and the indications are that should the invention become universally used the danger of flying will be materially lessened.... The new propeller is made in two pieces and by operating a lever near the driver it is possible to shift the blades in such a way that no power will be produced whatever or that the machine can be reversed and started in the opposite direction. By changing the angle of the blades of the propeller this is possible. In this latter instance the propeller acts as a brake making sudden stops of the machine possible in this way avoiding accidents in landing.... Robert Fowler, the noted flyer, has tested the new propeller and declares that it should prove a great success."
  • "Edw. T. Hackney, President of the new Board of Administration of Kansas schools, predicts a great year for Kansas University and for all the other state schools.... Mr. Hackney gives two reasons for expecting a larger attendance at K. U. and the other state schools this year. Mr. Hackney says that the crop shortage and a check in business is one reason. When business is good, many students take positions for the summer and then dislike to give them up in the fall and as a result do not get back to school as they had planned. But when business is poor and work is short there is no such temptation. The second reason advanced by Mr. Hackney is that some students who had planned to go to school farther away will feel unable to meet the expenses and will remain in Kansas and attend some Kansas school."


Sarah St. John 4 years, 2 months ago

Letter from "aeroplanist" Robert Fowler after he tested the new propellor:

"Mr. Harry Elliott,

Lawrence, Kansas.

"Dear Sir: --

"Ever since last Tuesday, when your changeable-pitch propeller was put on the motor of my bi-plane for a test run, I have intended writing to you in regard to the excellent showing it made.

"We first coupled the bi-plane to the scale with the regular propeller which I used in my recent flight across the Isthmus of Panama, it showed a pull of only 360 pounds at full motor speed, then we took it off and substituted your blade and central lever with the scale connected in the same manner and it showed 80 pounds more per pull, a gain of nearly 25 per cent.

"Was indeed sorry that there was such a high wind prevailing at the time as I would have liked to have made a trial flight just to try the reverse feature upon landing as to my mind that will be the great step toward absolute control of the planes under all conditions.

"Your propeller has so many advantages over the existing types that you should be able to market all that you can turn out and I want to secure one as soon as possible, would like to see you in regard to it then ext time you come to the city.

"Wishing you success that I am certain you will soon have, I am,

Yours very truly,


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