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Roger Fowler, Barnstormer
Roger Fowler, Barnstormer
TitleRoger Fowler, Barnstormer
DescriptionPostcard of early-day aviator, Roger Fowler, in flight
Historical ArticleThis 1913 postcard shows awed spectators watching the flying maneuvers of R. G. Fowler with his pusher-type Wright biplane.

He was one of that hardy group of early-day aviators called barnstormers who flew the first airplanes in exhibitions at small towns over the country and at fairs. These men gave many persons the first real proof that man could fly.

After demonstrating his skills in the air, the barnstormer offered to take aloft anyone in the crowd for a short ride. Only the most courageous and those having the necessary $25 accepted the offer.

Passenger and pilot sat side by side in the open seats on the leading edge of the lower wing, which was constructed of cloth, wood and wire. According to Ben Gregory, an early Kansas City barnstormer, the pilot kept his feet on the rudder bar, and manually operated a long control lever in front, to warp (twist the wings when he wished to make a turn.

The event shown here took place 14 years before Charles A. Lindgergh made his dramatic flight alone across the Atlantic, New York to Paris, in 1927.

Fowler might have performed in the Kansas City area at the Swope park mall, or at Overland Park, as both places were often used by early-day fliers. He was known to have entered the Hearst cross-country flight contest, California to Florida, in 1913.

Kansas City Star
July 26, 1969
AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
Local SubjectAviation
Digital FormatJPEG
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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