[Reid Family--home movies] Reel 5

This item may be available for reuse, please contact Northeast Historic Film for more information
circa 1928
1928 East Boston Airport - Planes, pilots, personnel - 1929 Russell N. Boardman aboard Arbella, June 2
"Four Hundred Feet of film which takes about 18 minutes to project BOSTON AIRPORT + PLANES, OCT. 1928 The opening scene is a view of the East Boston sky line taken from the bow of the South Ferry on the Boston side of the harbor, which opens out to the sea on your right, while the Charleston Navy Yard is to your left. The second view shows the main hangar and planes of the Boston Airport Corporation now owned by the Curtiss Flying Service of New England, with Robert G. Erwin as its general manager. Murry may be seen holding the left wing of a Travel-Air biplane, which he helps to turn around and take off. Then follow some landings by the [Farman] Amphibian and another plane. (The heaving motion of the camera is not its fault. To get a snap of the big amphibian before it came down for good was my ambition, and to do so I ran the length of the field, with the result that I pumped in oxygen while taking the pictures). The next scenes are glimpses of the airport personnel at work on the amphibian and about the hangar. Murry and [?] are interviewed by a fellow wishing to break into aviation, but being [unfitted]? he is turned down. The views over the city were not very successful, but if you look closely between the wing struts as you fly over the harbor you can see the airport hangars through them. Then comes a short view of the army base, some streets, a railroad terminal, and the elevated bridge over the Charles River with the basin stretching to the left. Next the pilot bumps into view and then the camera sticks and we seem to loop the loop, but in reality return to the airport for further pictures of personnel. The pilot of this expedition was Olcutt Payson of Skyways Inc, a Stearman biplane with green fuselage and yellow wings, being used for the flight. By balancing on top of a saw-horse one finds oneself on a level with a Wright Whirlwind motor, which the French Canadian mechanic is putting to rights. His overseas cap has recently disappeared, to the secret delight of his cronies, who are doubtless responsible, and the loss is greatly deplored by its owner. Wallis, the chief mechanic, was more bashful about appearing on the silver screen, so he starts his act with his back to the camera and industriously shines up the prop of the Pitcairn Mail plane. This plane has a black fuselage and yellow wings with but one cockpit, the rest of the available space being used for mail, landing flares, and other paraphernalia. An army P.J. takes off, and at an altitude of 3000 feet does two very slow barrel rolls over the field. It lands to refuel and one of its pilots goes by with his parachute harness still partly on. The police dog is the army mascot and often enjoys a ride on the dolly. (Nov. or Dec) The last picture shows a bought [?] Corsair seaplane mounted on a catapult aboard the U.S. Battle Cruiser Detroit. [Detroit was built in Quincy, launched in 1922; was present in Pearl Harbor in 1941 but not badly damaged.] The plane leaves the catapult at a speed of fifty-eight miles per hour. The junior officer in the foreground is August Pabst, bound for Panama to take part in the fleet maneuvers in the Pacific. From there he hopes to radio Murry. He left about the middle of January. [In 1934 August Uihlein Pabst, Naval Reserve pilot, died in a plane crash, flying from Great Lakes Naval Training Station. He was 31 years old. He took up flying while at Harvard.] Russell N. Boardman and the christening of the Arbella. [The rest is crossed out : The remaining pictures are of Illyria in dry dock and during her departure (some of them horribly light struck)]"
A ferry on the water. Buildings on the shore, including one with the sign: ‘NATIONAL DOCKS STORAGE WAREHOUSE’. Airplanes parked outside an airport hangar, with the sign: ‘BOSTON AIRPORT CORP.’ Planes taking off and landing. Men in ‘BOSTON AIRPORT CORPORATION’ jumpsuits. A biplane. City and surrounding landscape seen from an airplane. Shot of the co-pilot. A bridge. A man in a flight suit standing next to an airplane. A biplane, with the number ‘5491’ on the wing. A man working on a plane engine. A man wiping down a propeller. Men moving a biplane, with ‘U.S. MAIL C.A.M.No.I’ on the side. Plane on the ground with the propeller spinning. Airplanes flying overhead. A person seated in the cockpit of an airplane. Airplanes landing and taking off. Two people in the cockpit of an airplane. A fuel truck next to an airplane. A man in a flight suit. Fueling the plane. A dog seated in the front seat of the dolly. Men beside a parked float plane. A military ship. A boy and a young man watch an airplane taking off. Shot of a sign: ‘Lafayette Hotel Ocean Front Old Orchard Beach Rooms with Bath’. An airplane with the tail number ‘9422’ parked on a beach: l'Oiseau Canari (Yellow BIrd), French plane that crossed the North Atlantic from Old Orchard Beach to Comliias, northern Spain, in June 1929--with a 29 hour crossing. The Green Flash attempted to depart the same day but crashed on takeoff. l'Oiseau Canari carried three aviators and a stowaway. The plane is in the collections of the Musée de l’Air, le Bourget, France. [There is a Spanish documentary on the French flight, El Pájaro Amarillo (2012) Laya Producciones.] An airplane parked outside an airplane hangar with the signs ‘THE HAZZARD SHOE FLYING CORP, THE HAZZARD SHOE HANGAR’. An airplane with the decal: ‘Green Flash’. Various shots of airplanes including Colonial Air Transport plane, first passenger air service in Boston; became American Airlines in 1931. The plane shown is Ford Tri-motor Nacomis, (NC9675), which crashed in Boston Harbor in June 1930. View of East Boston Airport building. People standing on an airfield. Close up of Christine Reid. A man in the cockpit of a plane with ‘New Arbella, Travel Air, RCA, Radio Re[ceiver]’ written on the side. Close up of an airplane logo ‘BOARDMAN, AVIATION CORPORATION, ANYTIME-ANYPLACE-ANYWHERE, BOSTON AIRPORT’. Airplane with: ‘THE BOSTON HERALD, SPONSORING NATIONAL GOODWILL TOUR FOR AMERICAN LEGION CONVENTION, BOSTON OCT. 6-9, WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC-MFG CO. RADIO TRANSMITTER’ written on the side. [Boston Herald report from April 20, 1930 in James Michael Curley scrapbook, Internet Archive] People standing around the airport. An airport building with: ‘STEARMAN, SKYWAYS’ written on the side. Two women in the cockpit of an airplane. Two men on a motorcycle with a sidecar. A man in uniform holding a little girl, holding a bouquet. They break a bottle of champagne on the propeller of a plane. The little girl standing in front of the ‘Boston Herald’ airplane. An airplane flying overhead. Shots of the airfield. An airplane taking off. A plane with the tail number ‘C 780’, and ‘The Boston Flying Club’. Airplanes landing and taking off. [End of Reel]

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