This print has stamps from the Hood River News and the Hood River County Museum on the reverse, along with the notation "C. A. Leveque, Hood River, built at Portland Ball Park 1908." An editor's blue pencil notes 10-18/35. Who was C. A. Leveque, and what was going on here that caused the Hood River News to take notice?
I am always skeptical of notes on photos. This airplane looks like the Curtiss Model D, a 1911 airplane which was one of the first to be produced in any quantities. That airplane was based on some earlier experimental aircraft, so maybe someone from WAAAM will weigh in on this. In any event, it looks like the engine and the propeller are missing from this aircraft. They would sit directly behind the radiator, with the pilot seated in front.
Here's some info on the Curtiss Model D.
Charles Leveque lived in Hood River. I would imagine that that is why Hood River would take note. If this is in fact the Hood River Charles Leveque he looks about 18ish and Charles Leveque was born in 1890. I wonder if by chance he was the father of Marianne (Leveque) Fletcher?
charlott on 15th April 2013 @ 7:07am
Yes, made a phone call. Charles Leveque was father-in-law of Loren Fletcher. His wife was Mary Fenwick, also a Hood River family.
Charles also helped build one of the mills in the Greenpoint area.
charlott on 15th April 2013 @ 7:17am
I see the radiator, but where's the engine?
Rawhyde on 15th April 2013 @ 7:41am
Sounds like an interesting family with some probably still living in the area.
Dr. Phillip Leveque gave a cheer for his 1940 Class Reunion held at the HR high school last summer. He mentions his 94 year old brother Dr. Charles Leveque.
I am not a member of Facebook, but I bet someone could contact this gentleman for some information and I bet he would be interested in this photo.
He writes: My Paternal Grandfather, Charles A. Leveque, Sr. was the superintendent of construction of Kaiser shipbuilding on Swan Island. I have progressive pictures of the process. Furthermore, at the time, 1942, my father, later Dr. Charles A. Leveque, Jr. DDS. worked as a Pile-driver on the project, as was my Uncle, Philip E. Leveque, later Ph.D., D.O., and another Uncle and Cousin of the Leveque and Fenwick Families. My real name s Charles A. Leveque III, fifth generation Millwright/Engineer, among many other job activities.
l.e. on 15th April 2013 @ 8:20am
Almost looks like he should be peddling like mad.
db on 15th April 2013 @ 8:39am
appears to be a second aeroplane behind this first one...some sort of manufacturing facility? this family sounds like book material...Arlen
Arlen Sheldrake on 15th April 2013 @ 8:43am
Manufacturing facility--or maybe boneyard?
Buzz on 15th April 2013 @ 9:31am
It looks like a death trap to me.
AndrewB on 15th April 2013 @ 10:15am
Most of the old engines at that time had radiators, but probably an OX of some kind, as the curtiss type pusher used that engine a lot. We are currently rebuilding a Curtiss 1910 at the museum and it is supposed to fly in Sept.
Judy Newman on 15th April 2013 @ 2:45pm
I think this is just an odd co-incidence of names, but, In 1912 there was a Donnet-Levique hydro-aeroplane, built in France.
Here is a photo of one in a museum.
I can't find much information about the plane and no connection to our Charles.
l.e. on 15th April 2013 @ 3:48pm
I know there were plans for built-it-yourself airplanes that came out starting circa 1908 and popularized by Popular Mechanics, which, I believe had plans for a Curtiss-type plane in one of their issues in maybe 1910. Readers often made their own design changes based on the materials they could acquire. These same readers often wound up injured in a pile of junk at the bottom of their takeoff area.
Anyway, without the engine this is just a glider that would never get off the ground.
Some stuff I found while doing a search inspired from this photo:
From WAAM's Picasa site:
Video of a replica flying:
Chase on 15th April 2013 @ 6:09pm
I enjoyed the video Chase. I have to wonder how many died of injuries in those first test flights. We have come a long way in 100 years.
We aren't the only ones searching for some information about early flights.
At the "Old Oregon Photos" site there is a 1910 photo titled First Flight in Eugene.
The owner says:
The original photo has written on the back, "First Flight in Eugene, about 1910". It is stamped number 73. So far, I've been unable to locate stories about early flights in Eugene. I did find information about Eugene Ely, a race car driver who flew a Curtiss airplane in Portland in 1910, and also about Taylor and Scovell, Salem residents who built their own plane patterned after the Curtiss and flew it in Salem on June 4 of that year. This particular photo shows a biplane that looks very much like the Curtiss planes of that era. If you have more specifics, I'd enjoy hearing them. --
l.e. on 15th April 2013 @ 9:28pm
History books about Glenwood always show an old photo of old Mr. Troh and the airplane he was inventing.
From today's photo and Chase's comment I am thinking he wasn't inventing, he was following a pattern.
The town of Albany claims to be the beginning of aviation in Oregon with some "first in the Northwest" claims.
l.e. on 16th April 2013 @ 7:38am
The March 2, 1910 Hood River News indicates an aviation meet to take place in the Portland area would be the first chance for people in that area to see a flying machine.
Jeffrey Bryant on 25th July 2015 @ 9:17pm
As I heard the story this was either the first, or one of the first, planes to visit Portland OR. Photo was taken at the old Vaughn Street Ball Park. You can see a youngster peeking through the fence in background, just under the wing to the far left. I imagine you could sit in the plane and have your photo taken for a fee, and that is what Grandpa was doing in his fine duds at age 18. He later learned to fly, was a long time member of the Oregon Civil Air Patrol and jointly owned several planes. We grand kids went up with him a few times from the Troutdale Airport. My cousin Buz Fletcher, son of Marianne (Leveque) and Loren Fletcher sent me this photo today, nice to see it again!
Grandaughter Diane on 5th December 2018 @ 1:49pm