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NEW EXHIBITNew Exhibit at the Museum

1911 Aeroplane Simulation

Perhaps the most unusual performance in the Seymour Fair's 130 year history took place in 1911 when a "aeroplane" took off and landed in front of the grandstand. Since this was only eight years after the Wright brothers inaugural flight, it generated much interest in Seymour and the surrounding area. A large ad in the Seymour Press stated, "This is no bluff" and assured fairgoers it was an actual "Air Ship" that would fly over the fairgrounds.

The ad listed the terms of agreement between the Seymour Fair Association and the International Aviation Association of Chicago.

"Actual flights will be made on Friday and Saturday Sept. 29 and 30 by an experienced aviator representing The International Aviation Association of Chicago. This is no bluff. The Fair Association has entered into a contract, which, in short is as follows: "If a successful flight is made each day the aviation association is to receive $900.00. If only one flight is made $550.00. In case of very bad weather so that no flight can be made the Aviation association is to receive $200.00. The Aviation association guarantees the flights to be of at least five minutes duration and of such merit that they will please the Fair Association's patrons.

The aeroplane machines and flights are the biggest and most wonderful attractions ever invented. The flights are guaranteed to be made unless the weather is very bad. The machine will be on exhibition at the fair where it can be examined. The flights are to be made between 2 and 5 o'clock p.m."

Most likely, the intrepid pilot was 21 year old Beckwith Havens who was touring county fairs in Wisconsin during this time. He was taught to fly by pioneer Glenn Curtiss and was a member of the Curtiss Exhibition Team.
Editors note: A $10,000.00 donation from Kwik Trip helped launch the idea for this interactive exhibit. Through the creative genius of Balance Studios a computer simulation has been built to enable museum visitors to take off and land the aeroplane in front of a depiction of the 1911 grandstand. This is fun for "kids" of all ages.

Site developed by: Balance Interactive Studios
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