|This picture was taken in November, 1933 at Ford Airport when the Detroit News Autogiro was presented
to the Edison Institute Museum by William E. Scripps, President of the Detroit News and now president of the Early Birds. This plane
was flown to the museum by James V. Piersol from A Century of Progress where it was exhibited in Chicago that year. Left to Right;
Henry Ford, W. E. Scripps and Edsel Ford
From the EB's CHIRP
Edsel Ford's Aid Enlisted
Scripps Develops Worth-While Project
By Wm. E. Scripps
Since my election to the presidency of the Early Birds in December, 1934, I have given a great deal of thought to the accomplishment of some worthwhile undertaking during my tenure of office. Upon various occasions it had come to my attention that our organization had long sought a suitable place to safely preserve for posterity the records, photographs, biographies, antiques and other matters of historical interest of the Early Birds.
The first person of whom I thought in this regard was Mr. Edsel Ford, who at the time was attending the California-Pacific International Exposition at San Diego. Notwithstanding this I called Mr. Ford by long distance and outlined to him at length our desire. He expressed interest in our proposed undertaking and requested that I contact him upon his return to Detroit. This, of course, I did, and found him interested in the idea in connection with the Edison Institute Museum at Dearborn, Michigan.
In addition to Mr. Edsel Ford, I have also conferred with Mr. Henry Ford and Mr. Fred L. Black, the latter of whom is an old-time flyer and therefore, keenly interested in aviation. Mr. Edsel Ford's interest in aviation, particularly in the developement and manufacturing fields, is well-known to us all.
Shortly after my interview with Mr. Ford, I thought it desirable to appoint a committee to facilitate the accomplishment of oiur purpose. Believing that this committee should be composed of men readily available at all times, I named the following to comprise what I chose to designate the "Museum Committee"; Mr. Frederick A. Hoover as chairman, Major George E. A. Hallett and Mr. Walter Lees. Our organization is fortunate in being able to interest Mr. Ford in this work, and we all should be willing to lend every cooperation possible toward carryhing this undertaking through to a successful conclusion.
The very nature of our organization demands that no further delay be permitted in commencing the work we have undertaken. The qualifications of our membership definitely preclude its ever increasing to any degree. It might be termed a "last man's organization." Some day there will be but one of us left. For this reason if we hope to succeed in this undertaking we must, without delay, make every effort to accumulate all the data possible bearing on the activities of early flyers.
I have taken advantage of the fact that I am myself a newspaper publisher and am seeking the aid of my fellow publishers throughout the country. On February 25 addressed publishers in 117 localities where Early BIrds reside, soliciting their assistance in the gathering of this data. Up to this time I have received sixty-seven replies signifying not only their willingness but their desire to aid in this work.
On page 2 of this issue of the Chirp is published a questionnaire which is being sent to each publisher who has signified his desire to co-operate with us. I ask that each of you carefully read this questionnaire and acquaint yourself with the manner in which the various questions should be answered so that you may be somewhat prepared, rather than having the questions put to you "cold." Undoubtedly it would be of great assistance to the newspapers and, incidentally, save them considerable expense if you would call the Managing Editor of the paper in your district and make an appointment with its representative. It might even be possible to call at the newspaper office in order to save their sending a representative to see you.
Each and every one of you has, no doubt, had some unusual or outstanding experience. It is this information we desire.
A great many of our members, and also countless others who possessed qualifications for membership but never became affiliated with our, or any like organization, have "flown West." It will be somewhat difficult to prepare biographies of these men, but it is my purpose to compile as complete a record as possible, so that their names and deeds may not be forgotten.
By Edsel Ford
Then need of a place to preserve the vehicles, trophies and early records of airmen who had a vital part in the developement of American aviation has been brought to our attention by William E. Scripps, President of the Early Birds.
Members of the Early Birds' association were among aviation's first students and inventors. Investigation shows that many of their earliest planes, engines and other handiwork are still in existence, but they are scattered and decaying in remote places---unattended and unrecognized.
So we, (my father and I) have offered for use what we believe to be a fitting place for these historical objects at the Edison Institute Museum here in Dearborn, Michigan. The museum, together with Greenfield Village, is dedicated to the preservation of science, industry and home life of America's great pioneers.
With the cooperation of the Early Birds assured, we hope to assemble in this new sectino of the museum the most authentic and complete physical and written history of aviation. We intend it to be a lasting monument to airmen and an inspiration to posterity.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An illustrated story of the "Detroit News Air Corps" may be found in the Rearview Mirror section of the Detroit News Online. In addition, there are many stories of the history of Detroit taken from the story and photo archives of the News. It is a fascinating site for the history buff.