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Reminiscences of a Birdman [Kindle Edition]

Robert D. Campbell , Beth Ann Robbins
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

This Kindle edition of Reminiscences of a Birdman has been updated with new content and over seventy additional images from my personal collection. My goal for this edition is to reach a new audience of readers who may not have heard of Earle Lewis Ovington and his amazing accomplishments. As more people are made aware of Ovington's unique contributions to electrical engineering, motorcycle racing history, and early aviation, it is my hope he will finally receive the recognition and honor he deserves as this nation's first official United States Air Mail Carrier.

From the wind-swept streets of Chicago, to the hurried pace of New York City, to the quiet Newton Highlands suburb of Boston, to the boardwalks of Atlantic City and the lush open spaces of Santa Barbara, California, Earle Lewis Ovington passionately pursued his dreams. At age sixteen he left home to seek employment with Thomas Edison and later earned his Electrical Engineering degree from MIT. He was a showman, a multi-enterprising entrepreneur, inventor, and fearless pioneer aviator. He counted among his many friends the great inventor Nikola Tesla, pioneer aviator Glenn Hammond Curtiss, explorer Richard E. Byrd, and actor Wallace Beery.

On September 23, 1911, Earle Lewis Ovington took off from Garden City Estates and flew the first official air mail to Mineola on Long Island. Dr. Arthur H. Groten, an avid aerophilatelist and President of the Ephemera Society of America, states that "it was from there that aerophilatelic history was made when Ovington proved that mail could be delivered on a specific route between two towns, Garden City and Mineola, a distance of five miles, on a regular schedule, daily from September 23 to October 1, 1911, except for two days when the weather was bad. All else follows from this demonstration." That "all else" resulted in the inauguration in 1918 of regular air mail service and the eventual development and spread of commercial aviation throughout the United States. The Centenary of the First Official United States Air Mail Flight was celebrated by a small gathering of individuals, including myself and Dr. Arthur H. Groten, at the Garden City Post Office on Long Island, New York, on September 23, 2011. Earle Lewis Ovington was honored that day with the servicing of a special cancel and cachet, speeches and the unveiling and dedication of a bronze plaque at the nearby Cradle of Aviation Museum. Significantly absent on that day was any acknowledgement by the United States Postal Service and the Smithsonian's National Postal Museum of Ovington's role in postal history.

Anchored in the optimism of the late nineteenth century, he was a visionary who continually looked to the future. Virtually forgotten today, Earle Ovington lived a life of which most people can only dream. Reminiscences of a Birdman tells for the first time to a new generation, the complete story of this uniquely American hero.

Robert D. Campbell, (Author)
Reminiscences of a Birdman

"It took Reminiscences of a Birdman, Robert D. Campbell's gorgeous documentation of Ovington's life, to reignite appreciation for a remarkable but forgotten American personality. Campbell's scholarship and detail are stunning, but his assembly of extraordinary historic photographs and illustrations is even more astonishing. This is a biography of an unusual individual, but it is also a carefully sectioned sample of American technology and invention in the twentieth century. It not only reveals relationships through time that helped make the world what it is, it demonstrates how these human connections work. Through the details of Earle Lewis Ovington's life, Robert D. Campbell shows us how things really get discovered and done."

Dr. E.C. Krupp, Director
Griffith Observatory
Los Angeles, California

Product Details

  • File Size: 28519 KB
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Living History Press, LLC; 2 edition (September 12, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ARYB148
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #668,971 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing history lesson March 7, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you are a history buff, into aviation, or like to read about inventors around the turn of the Century, this book is for you. Very in depth with tons of supporting pictures from the era. Earl Ovington was one of the unsung heroes of the time, brought to life by Mr. Campbell.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Unknown history is always interesting to me! February 24, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This book dives into many interesting stories about early flight and the early pioneers of aviation. It's also a reminder that the Wright brothers sought through patent protection to enrich themselves in the US. Development then progressed faster in Europe, leading up to World War I.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The early years of flight October 31, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The author did an exceptional job of describing and documenting the early years of flight. His portrayal of the live of Earl Ovington was a priceless choice. What a bird man! Having flown for over 70 years myself, I was particularly interested in the years prior to my lifetime. And the author did an exceptional job of providing that history. The only disturbing part of the text , to me, had to do with the Wright brothers and their actions involving law suits to protect their design rights, and the effect their behavior had on the advancement of aviation in this country. While the author didn't dwell on this issue, his documentation of what actually happened during those early years was an eye opener to me. And influenced me to reconsider my admiration for their accomplishments as the first to achieve powered flight.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version is amazing! January 7, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I recently purchased this brand new Kindle edition of "Reminiscences of a Birdman." It is amazing! The author has added a lot of additional content to the information, pictures, etc. I was very pleased with how well the book translated into Kindle format. I love being able to enlarge each picture to see more detail. You will not be disappointed. Highly recommend!
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