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Wedding Wings

July 2024
1min read

Bundled up against high-altitude winds. Miss Myrtle Williamson and her determinedly cheerful suitor, Ebert Grout, soar above the roofs of Middletown, Ohio—in a photographer’s studio in 1913. It is not surprising that their flying machine- with its minuscule landing gear, maritime wheel, random struts, and odd, cubistic motor—is unconvincing. It had been just ten years since the Wright Brothers took wing at Kitty Hawk, and the artist who cobbled it together had probably never seen the real thing. Middletown’s skyline has since been transformed. Only the noisome chimneys of the then-new American Rolling Mill Company at lower left remain; the firm is now called Armco Steel, and antipollution equipment keeps the smoke down. The pilot and her co-pilot were married two years after this first flight: their son, George Grout, of Monroe, Ohio, sent us their picture.

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