Monday, January 5, 2009

Thomas Sopwith in Monoplane -- January 5, 2009

"Head and shoulders portrait of Thomas Sopwith sitting in a monoplane on the ground during the International Aviation Meet held in Grant Park, in the Loop community area of Chicago, Illinois, from Aug. 12-20, 1911."
Thomas Octave Murdoch Sopwith, later Sir Thomas, was a pioneering British aviator who went on to found the Sopwith Company, which built some of the greatest fighters of World War One. After the company was forced out of business by punitive taxation after the war, he founded Hawker Aviation, which built the Hawker Hurricane, a critical fighter in WWII.
I remember when the RAF celebrated his 100th birthday in 1988 by doing a flyover. He died in 1989.
The photo comes from the Library of Congress' wonderful American Memory site ( n009316, Chicago Daily News negatives collection, Chicago Historical Society.

No comments: