|The picture shows the Original 1920's Sprit Of St. Louis Old Orchard Beach, Maine Photograph & Negative in this lot. The negative is on the right. This photo and negative were found in the included old envelope. The envelope is from the old Rochester, New Hampshire Historical Society. Written by hand in pencil (and misspelled) is: "Lingberges Plain at Old Orchard".|
There are two mechanics working on the planr. They are wearing white coveralls with the name "WRIGHT" on them. There are two men in the background looking at the plane. I do not know if one of them is Lindbergh. There is another man on the right in uniform. He may be a police officer or a military man.
After doing some research it was found that Charles Lindbergh did in fact land and take off from Old Orchard Beach in Maine at least a few times (see below). The image of the Spirit of St. Louis is believed to be from a hanger under the Pier. This is believed to be an unpublished photograph from one of those landings. Below is a list that had been written about the Aviation History of Old Orchard Beach. For reference I have copied and pasted it below in its entirety.
Old Orchard Aviation History
Mike and I attended a presentation sponsored by the Ocean Park Historical Society on July 11th.Ê Included was a slide show of pictures of Old Orchard aviators and a handout of information.Ê It was quite interesting if you haven't heard of the significance of the beach in aviation history.
Some significant events include:
January 2, 1912 Harry Jones (Rhode Island's first aviator) starts first aerial parcel post in history, a flight from Boston to NY, returning March 25. (56 days and 3 crash landings later)
September 4, 1912 George A. Gray from Blue Hill makes first flights over Saco & Biddeford, using the beach as his airstrip.
January 2, 1913 Harry Jones lands his Wright biplane on Boston Common, the first and only person to do so. This was in response to a contest award offered by the Boston Post. He missed the contest deadline and received a fine.
1919 Harry Jones starts Hazard airport with a Curtiss Jenny. Robert P. Hazard, a prominent shoe manufacturer from Gardiner and a neighbor on the beach is Harry Jones' primary advertiser.
October 23, 1919 First Air Mail flight in Maine, Portland to Augusta, with Harry Jones as pilot. Take off is at 12:53 pm with return the same day.
August 11, 1921 Town of Old Orchard made the beach an official runway. The official geographical designation was in the Surfside section, "from River St. to the westerly side of Lyons, approximately 900 feet in an easterly direction from Jones' hangar."
July 24, 1921 Charles Lindbergh lands unannounced at 11:45 am, unable to land at Portland on his Guggenheim Tour of 48 states.
1927 - 29 Several transoceanic attempts started from the beach. Many fail.
1938 Old Orchard Beach airport hangar is destroyed in hurricane.
August 27, 1971 Plaque to "Runway to Glory" dedicated in Memorial Park.Ê Nearby is granite memorial to Charles Lindbergh.
1977 The beach is the site of a fly-in commemorating Lindbergh's visit 50 years earlier. (Some of you may remember this event.)
The reason for the beach's popularity is that at low tide there is a wide expanse of hard packed sand, which was considered a fine runway. The beach was also located on the Great Circle Route to Europe.
If you ever happen to be in the terminal building of the Portland Jetport, you should check out the photos on the upper level over by the administrative offices. There are several photos taken locally and you can even find the origin of KIFFI intersection (found on the ILS approach to runway 11).
- Ann Walko
The photograph measures 5-1/16" x 3-1/2". It is in mint as made condition. The same goes for the negative as well.