From the Introduction
In 1966 or there about, Tom Vivirit was closing his lumber yard and he was gracious enough to give me many different turn of the century (circa 1914 to 1919) Frank Leslie’s Magazines. In this batch of printed treasure was a Curtiss Wright Flyleaf from about 1917. At least that is the date often used in these pages. The Flyleaf included pages 5 through 18. No cover was with them. They were stuck inside one of the Leslie’s magazines. These had been left around in the lumber yard storage area for more than 50 years. Cleaning things out I got them for helping!
What do I know about First World War planes? With some shame very little. As a boy I naturally built many First World War plane models which fascinated me. As a boy in the 50’s on a farm I can assure you when a plane flew over everyone came outside to see it and point. Those were the days. I was born and grew-up at a time when you could still meet First World War veterans and I did. Heck I even knew men grown old by the 1960’s who were water boys at the Schoellkopf Power Station back in 1895. These men were my heroes and veterans of both World Wars. Today boys are no longer permitted real heroes. I consider myself lucky to have been a boy more than 50 years ago when it was common to boast of your heroes; fathers, uncles and friends.
Any way I have finally gotten into researching the First World War Period. I will finally, after 40 years, get to the stack of Frank Leslie’s Magazines that are aging day by day. This publication will preserve these pages electronically. So not everything today is bad as one would think. While actual documents like these are important but more importantly is the content and not the actual hard copy itself. Hopefully this content is now preserved for other generations. The drawings are outstanding and these have sparked my boyish imagination for many decades. The text is informative of a gone-by age.
I can claim no writing skill in gathering and reproducing these pages. They have been electronically copied and then reassembled page by page. See the notes for more details at the end. In conclusion I dedicate this brief reproduction to my Uncle Tom Vivirit; one of my guides in life then and even now.