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Sandt – Erie Flight

Sandt – Erie Flight

Brookville's Lewis Earle Sandt was the first person to fly from the US to another country when he flew from Erie to Canada in 1911. (JCHS Collection) BROOKVILLE'S BIRD MAN Several months after learning to fly, Lewis Earle Sandt gathered Erie newsmen together and told them he intended to be a greater pilot than Lincoln Beachey, then Curtiss’ leading aviator. During the next eighteen months he was well on his way. He was the first to fly from Erie to Canada, completing the round trip with a crash near North East. He wasn’t hurt, but the plane was lost. During 1912 he flew exhibitions. He flew over Pittsburgh, taking off from Schenley Park, and took off from Walnut Street in Brookville on a flight to Punxsutawney. He flew the first airmail for the state of Ohio. In June of 1913 he flew an exhibition in Grove City, crashed, and then developed lockjaw as the result of a broken leg. Serum arrived too late and Lewis Earle Sandt died at 25. Just as Sandt had tested the capabilities of the automobiles he drove, he tested the capabilities of the planes he flew. He flew them higher. He flew them farther. He flew them in difficult weather. He manipulated them in new ways. Aviation historian David H. Onkst wrote “Although early exhibition aviators entertained millions and helped spur popular interest in flight, some scholars estimate that the fatality rate among them was as high as 90 percent. For those early aviators who never became rich, famous, or even well known, that was an expensive price to pay.” So was this Brookville man a barnstormer, an exhibition flyer, or as Mary Geist Dick referred to him—“a nutty one”—an exhibitionist? The date of his death rules out “barnstormer,” a term that describes a pilot who would land in a farmer’s field, gather a crowd, and do stunts, and a term that didn’t originate until after Sandt died. Local folks might have described him as an exhibitionist, a person who wants to attract attention to him or herself, but the newspapers and magazines of his time didn’t. The Pittsburgh Post said, “Risking his life to the treachery of a gale and battling the elements, Earle Sandt thrilled the city by his spectacular flight,” and the Scientific American said, “That he escaped with his life after his perilous trip is well nigh miraculous.” Yet he bragged to reporters that he would be a greater pilot than Beachey. Exhibition flyers, on the other hand, were interested in demonstrating to others the capabilities of this new invention. Today, flight historians like Onkst describe these exhibition flyers as “courageous individuals who experimented with the limits of aeroplane design at a time when many designers were still struggling to solve some of the most fundamental aeronautical engineering problems.” We conclude that Brookville-born Lewis Earle Sandt was one of these “courageous individuals,” with just a tad of exhibitionism thrown into the mix! [email protected] County Historical Society, Inc.
by · January 24, 2019 · Uncategorized
Looking Back: A Jefferson Street Christmas

Looking Back: A Jefferson Street Christmas

Jefferson County Historical Society submitted the following article: FULL ARTICLE
by · December 20, 2018 · Local News, News
Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: The Spanish Influenza

Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: The Spanish Influenza

The Spanish Influenza hit mining communities like Ramsaytown (above), Eleanora, Conifer, and Wishaw especially hard. SPANISH INFLUENZA HITS JEFFERSON COUNTY When the Spanish Influenza hit Jefferson County, schools became hospitals. Annabelle Osborne, Brookville, was eight in 1918. When interviewed she recalled, “They died so fast, they hauled them out like flies…they didn’t take time for funerals. They just dug a hole and put them in.” Medical staffs and hospitals within the county were swamped with the sick. Adrian Hospital, built in 1888 in Punxsutawney by Adrian Iselin for Adrian miners, had quickly become a general hospital. Its beds were kept full. Dr. John E. Grube had established a small hospital in Punxsutawney’s business district in 1908. It too was swamped. The new Brookville Hospital was in the planning stages, however, Dr. Wayne Snyder operated a small hospital on Franklin Avenue where Doctors Lynch and Prusakowski practiced more recently. The Red Cross opened a free hospital there and the newspaper warned, “The only sure way of receiving a visit by a physician has been to lie in wait for him at his office door.” Nurses were at a premium. “Virtually everyone who has escaped the disease or who has recovered has turned in to help where possible.” Dr. Matson fell ill as did undertaker H. Brady Craig, forcing the entire staff of the Reitz Furniture Company to devote its time to handling funerals. Almost as soon as the epidemic was recognized in Pennsylvania, communities were ordered to close down places where people gathered, like theaters, saloons, schools, churches, and public meeting houses. This was done in Brookville. Even though supplies were needed in Europe, the Red Cross storeroom closed. The pandemic ceased to exist officially in November of 1918 but local papers reported cases into the next year. Philadelphia was the American city with the highest death toll, and October turned out to be the deadliest month—195,000 Americans dead. Recently scientists examined the lung tissue of a victim of the 1918 influenza pandemic. The genetic coding sequence bears a strong similarity to the coding sequence found in the current bird flu virus. Is a preventative or cure waiting to be discovered? Probably. But until then communities have been advised to have an emergency plan in reserve. It makes sense, too, for individuals to follow the warnings for airborne disease prevention. If you develop coughs and sneezes, don’t mingle, cover your nose and mouth, and wash your hands often.
by · November 15, 2018 · Uncategorized
SPONSORED: Check Out What Local Customers Are Saying About Matson Insurance!

SPONSORED: Check Out What Local Customers Are Saying About Matson Insurance!

BROOKVILLE, Pa. (EYT) – Check out what Matson Insurance customers have to say about them on their Facebook page. FULL ARTICLE
Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: 19th Century Horse Farms in Jefferson County

Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: 19th Century Horse Farms in Jefferson County

Matson Insurance has partnered with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look into Jefferson County's past. Today, 19th century horse farms in Jefferson County is highlighted. FULL ARTICLE
Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Brookville Youth Waiting for College in 19th Century

Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Brookville Youth Waiting for College in 19th Century

Matson Insurance has partnered with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look into Jefferson County's past. Today, an anecdote about a Brookville youth waiting for college in the 19th century is highlighted. FULL ARTICLE
Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Evolution of Lighting in Brookville

Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Evolution of Lighting in Brookville

Matson Insurance has partnered with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look into Jefferson County's past. Today, the evolution of lighting in Brookville is highlighted. FULL ARTICLE
Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Seven Hills of Brookville

Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Seven Hills of Brookville

Matson Insurance has partnered with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look into Jefferson County's past. Today, tbe Seven Hills of Brookville is highlighted. FULL ARTICLE
Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Swimming at Walter Dick Memorial Park

Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Swimming at Walter Dick Memorial Park

Matson Insurance has partnered with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look into Jefferson County's past. Today, swimming at Walter Dick Memorial Park is highlighted. FULL ARTICLE
Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Post-War Automobile Business in Brookville

Throwback Thursday by Matson Insurance: Post-War Automobile Business in Brookville

Matson Insurance has partnered with Jefferson County History Center to offer exploreJeffersonpa.com readers a look into Jefferson County's past. Today, the Post-War Automobile Business in Brookville is highlighted. FULL ARTICLE