4 in. H Item (Overall)
21 in. Diameter
DescriptionModel, Product: Airplane model from Col. Jeptha Garrard's experiments at Old Frontenac 1890s. The model has a square wooden structure in the center and a cloth that extends from the sides. The cloth is blue with white dots and makes the shape of an octagon. Metal wire go from the center wooden structure to each of the sides.
The model was likely built by Ed Hunecke, who built the original aircraft. Newspaper articles describe the aircraft. "The most successful model was shaped like an inverted umbrella. It was about 18 feet in diameter and in the center was an opening with a platform hanging below. The aviator stood upon this platform, with his head and shoulders projecting above the surrounding area corresponding to the spread of an inverted umbrella. It was of rigid construction. The ribs were of carefully selected ash and were braced by the same material which is used for bicycle wheel spokes. The surrounding area was of a tough, light, waterproof fabric. Some parts of the machine remained in the old carpenter shop back of St. Hubert's, the general's home [Israel Garrard] where it was built by Ed Hunecke under Colonel Jeptha's supervision, until the building was torn down some years ago. A track was built down the steep side of the bluff near the old limekiln at the end of Point-no-Point, just beyond the old stone quarry, overlooking Lake Pepin. This was on the principle of a ski slide, very steep at the start, then shooting out straight over the water. A car carrying the airship ran down the track. Double rails, one above and one below the wheels prevented the car from jumping the track. As the car shot out over the water it automatically disengaged itself and dropped into the lake. The theory was that the airship would soar out over the water and be kept aloft by the aviator maneuvering or rocking it so as to give it a bird-like motion. That was the theory. The difficulty was that in actual practice the operator either forgot or did not care to manipulate it in the manner of a bird."
A picture of the model is in a newspaper article. See Vertical File - Florence Township/Old Frontenac and Biography File - Garrard Family for newspaper articles.