Photograph by Ernst Niebergall
Charles E. Frohman Collection
Above is a picture of Tony Jannus, one of America's most famous early flyers. Jannus was a test pilot for Tom Benoist, who built airboats at Sandusky, Ohio. During the summers of 1913, at the centennial celebration of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's Victory on Lake Erie, and 1914, Jannus flew exhibition flights and took local residents on flights over Lake Erie. On New Year's Day 1914, Jannus flew one of Benoist's airboats on the United States' first scheduled passenger flight, between Tampa and St. Petersburg, Florida. Jannus' flight heralded in commercial aviation in the United States. His fete proved that scheduled flights of cargo and passengers could be economically viable. More on Jannus, his life, and the upcoming commemoration of that first scheduled flight in an upcoming post...
You can see pictures of Tony and the Benoit airboat on Pinterest on my Lake Erie's Yesterdays board. There are also some of early fliers Harry Atwood and Glen Curtiss making flights over Lake Erie near Sandusky and at Cedar Point. More photos from the Charles E. Frohman Collection can be found by googling Lake Erie's Yesterdays OhioLINK.