Manuscripts/Mixed Material Speech by Alexander Graham Bell, February 13, 1913
In spite of the great advances that have been made in the art of aerodromics we are confronted with a long list of fatalities to aviators, for whose protection there remains a great deal yet to be done. There has been one very notable development in this direction, made by an American, Mr. Glenn H. Curtiss of Hammondsport, N. Y.
In 1908, the Aerial Experiment Association, of which Mr. Curtiss was a member, discussed the advisability of having flying machines so constructed as to enable them to float, and to rise from the water into the air, as an element of safety. In pursuance of these ideas, the Association's aerodrome N o 3, the “Curtiss June Bug” was attached to pontoons and an experiment was made on Lake Keuka on Nov 6, 1908. Although the speed on the water appeared to be satisfactory, the machine failed to rise in one air, but the occasion formed the starting point for Mr. Curtiss' independent researches.
After the dissolution of the Association, March 31 1909, Mr. Curtiss continued his experiments to find a practical solution of the problem, and in May, 1910, he made that remarkable flight from Albany to New York City over the Hudson River, a distance of 152 miles in 2 hours 52 minutes, with two light pontoons attached to his machine, to enable it to float should it come down into the water.
In 1911 Mr. Curtiss continued his efforts to construct a machine that would not only float, but would rise from the water into the air, and in January 1912, he succeeded in doing this in San Diego Bay, California. “On January 26, 1912” he says “the first success came;” and