Title: Past on Parade: Book celebrates country's first aviation meet
Author: Sid Gally
Publisher: Pasadena Star-News
This month is the 100th anniversary of the first international aviation meet in this country held on Dominguez Hill.
In celebration of the event, a book has just been issued by Kenneth E. Pauley and the Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum as part of the Images of Aviation series of Arcadia Publishing.
This illustration is the official program for Monday, Jan. 17, 1910. The program was kept by a Pasadena woman who attended the air meet while in college, going by Pacific Electric train, as did thousands of others.
Each day was in honor of some community or event. "Los Angeles Free Harbor Day" refers to the fight to get the harbor in San Pedro rather than in Santa Monica.
The weather turned fine on Jan. 17, after a couple of days of wind and rain. Louis Paulhan, the famous French flyer, was scheduled to try for the Michelin cup for distance and endurance records in his Farman biplane over a newly laid out course three miles in length.
A new record carried a cash prize of $4,000. American Charles Hamilton in a Curtis biplane was also to try for a distance and endurance record.
Paulhan took off at 2:15 and flew only 75 feet above the ground. His hand signals to the judges made it appear he was trying for a 10-lap speed record but he kept on so they knew he was trying for an endurance record. He had enough gasoline aboard to fly for twelve hours.
Hamilton took off later to the tune of Dixie. He was about a half mile from Paulhan. With his more powerful engine, Paulhan gained on Hamilton and gunned the engine and leap-frogged over him. The crowd in the grandstand cheered.
Another flyer on the ground with binoculars noticed that one of Hamilton's wings was warped. He was flagged down and a strut was found to have come loose which could have led to a fatal accident.
Then trouble started for Paulhan. As he passed the grandstand, people smelled gasoline. He landed and a pinhole leak was found in the tube carrying gasoline from the tank to the engine.
This event was for "aeroplanes" but dirigibles and balloons were also in competitions flying from a field in Huntington Park.