Lot 502: Two items: a carbon DS, signed in ink, "Orville Wright," one page, 8.5 x 14, October 29, 1928, in part: "W.E. Easterwood, Jr…trusted with the Dallas Trust and Savings Bank a prize in the sum of $25,000.00 to be given to the first aviator making a successful flight from Dallas, Texas, to Hong Kong, China, or vice versa, by airplane within a period of three hundred hours without making more than three stops in said flight, said flight to be made at any time between the first day of August, 1927 and midnight of September 15, 1928, Dallas time; and…whereas, there has been no successful contestant…the National Aeronautic Association of U.S.A…does hereby authorize…said Dallas Trust and Savings Bank to return said $25,000.00 to said W.E. Easterwood, Jr." Signed at the conclusion by Wright as Chairman of the Contest Committee, and also signed by secretary C. F. Schory and notary public H. S. Miller. Second item is a TLS, signed "Orville Wright," one page, 7.25 x 10.5, October 30, 1928. Letter to C. F. Schory, in full: "I am enclosing herewith the release forms from the Dallas Trust and Savings Bank for the Easterwood prize. I see your signature is required." In overall fine condition, with a crease to upper left and expected wear to document, and an office notation to the letter. Accompanied by a blank two-page entry form for the Dallas to Hong Kong flight contest, as well as a similar entry form for a contest for a Dallas to Rome flight.
Following his service in World War I, Colonel William Edward Easterwood adopted Dallas as his hometown and became the city's official greeter—and unofficial 'goodwill ambassador'—using his wealth and charm to turn a spotlight on his city. An aviation enthusiast and member of the NAA himself, he began offering prizes for record flights to or from Dallas: Rome to Dallas, Dallas to Hong Kong, and the first one-stop flight from Paris to New York to Dallas (completed in 1930 by the French Flyers Coste and Bellonte). Unfortunately, only the Paris-Dallas flight was achieved, leaving the other prize money unclaimed. Confirming that "there has been no successful contestant," Orville returns the $25,000 to the Texas spokesman. An interesting set of papers highlighting the adventurous spirit of early American aviation.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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