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First Flights

Canton's aeronautical interest in 1908 and 1909 was still completely absorbed in the balloon flights of the Aero Club to witness which Orville Wright paid a visit to Canton, January 23, 1909.

It was thus at an extremely early period of airplane pioneering, that William H. Martin made his first flights. A photographer came out to take pictures of the flights but became so excited that he failed to operate his photographic apparatus properly and all the plates were ruined!

During successive days more than 100 flights were made. All the members of the family, including the pet dog enjoyed the novel experience. One day one of the sled runners struck a bare spot on the ground and swerved the plane against a fence, damaging it slightly. The flights were suspended for a time.

William H. Martin had his eye on more than the local scene and wanted to get his plane demonstrated in the East, but was handicapped by lack of funds. William A. Hoberdier, who, with his brother, L.A. Hoberdier operated Lyric Amusement Co. of Canton, is credited with having helped finance trips to New York in the Spring of 1909.

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