Stratford, CT – April 13, 1911

Stratford, CT – April 13, 1911

Lordship Park

     On April 13, 1911, George C. Nealy, aka “Steeple Jack” Nealy, aka “The Human Fly”, was making a trial flight in a Bleriot aeroplane at Lordship Park in Stratford, when a sudden gust of wind suddenly sent the aircraft plunging forty feet to the ground.  Nealy was tossed out by the impact and suffered only minor injuries.  It was believed the airplane could be repaired. 

     It was reported in The Bridgeport Evening Farmer that “Nealy is one of Stanley Y. Beache’s “stable of aviators”.  Beach has several machines at his hangar in Stratford, two Bleriots, a Curtiss biplane, and others. ”   

     “Steeple Jack” Nealy gained fame when he hung upside down from the spire atop the Singer Tower in Manhattan, N.Y., and took photographs of the view – something that had not been done before.   

     The 47-story Singer Tower was the tallest building in the world from 1908 to 1909.  It was demolished in 1968.

     Nealy had placed an advertisement in the March 1911 issue of Aircraft  that read as follows:

    “Steeple Jack” Nealy, better known as The Human Fly, would like to run an aeroplane for some reliable company.  I am the man that hung by my toes from the Singer Building flag pole 674 feet high.  Have made many parachute descents and have invented an automatic device for stability.  Geo. C. Nealy, 1454 Rockaway Ave., Brooklyn, N.Y.”


     The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, “Steeple Jack Has Mishap In Aeroplane”, April 14, 1911, First Section, Page 4.  

     Aircraft, classified ads, “Steeple Jack Nealy”,March, 1911.

     Wikipedia – Singer Tower



Stratford, CT – July 11, 1910

Stratford, Connecticut – July 11, 1910

Lordship Park

     On July 2, 1910, it was reported in The Bridgeport Evening Farmer that Stanley Y. Beach, editor of The Scientific American, was planning a flight that afternoon in his new Bleriot monoplane at Lordship Park, in Stratford. 

     The article stated in part, “Mr. Beach is the first aeronaut to hit upon the gyroscope as a means of insuring stability in flying machines, but has not yet succeeded in putting his ideas to a practical test.  He has made many attempts at flight, and each one appears to bring him nearer to his goal.  The occasion of his last attempt, he arose a few feet from the ground and actually flew for a short distance, but not long enough to put his machine through a real trial.”     

     The article also stated that “Mr. Beach’s ultimate project is a flight across Long Island Sound.”

     At about 2:00 p.m. on the afternoon of July 10,1910, Mr. Beach was back at Lordship Park with his Bleriot monoplane preparing for another flight.  Beach had directed his airplane towards a fifty-foot cliff overlooking Long Island Sound at the edge of the park.  After a mechanic started the engine, Beach sped towards the cliff, but when he tried to take off the plane didn’t respond to the controls, and Beach suddenly realized he was in trouble.  Just as he reached the cliff’s edge Beach bailed out and tumbled to the ground.   The aircraft continued over the edge and crashed on some rocks below.   Beach was relatively unhurt, but the aircraft suffered considerable damage.   

     The accident did not deter Beach from aviation.


     The Bridgeport Evening Farmer, “With New Aeroplane Beach Plans Flight From Lordship Park”, July 2, 1910, Page 3.

    The Bridgeport Evening farmer, “Stanley Beach Plunges From Flying Machine As It Dashes Over Cliff At Lordship Park”, July 11, 1910, Page 2.

     New York Tribune, “Beach Monoplane Falls”, July 12, 1910, Page 3.


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