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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Building the Vision: Businessman sees the worth of N-B project

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Greetings to all! Will it ever thaw? When can we wash our cars again without having the doors freeze shut? What is the salt doing to my sidewalks? These are all probing questions that may keep you up at night. Here is another ... Have you been to campaign headquarters yet to give a donation? While we are thrilled with the amount of money we have amassed so far, we realistically know that there is a distance to go before we have reached our goal.

The men and women you read about in this column each week (and I thank you for following this column) made a gigantic contribution to the air travel we almost take for granted today. They put Marshall on the map with their daring, ingenuity, and foresight. This proud and precious history of our city and its residents must not be forgotten.

On the other hand, I had a visit with a business man the other day. His remarks went something like this ... "I will have to say that when 'you guys' started this campaign I thought you were kind of crazy. But, since then, I have learned a lot about the Nicholas-Beazley history, and I have been impressed. What I really am excited about is the civic center. The more I hear about what it will offer, how accessible it will be, and how it will be available to everyone at a minimum cost ... well, I am convinced that we need it, and we need it soon. I'm going to contribute, and will do it within the week. Let's make sure this building happens!"

Ah-ha! For another probing question ... what new facts about Nicholas-Beazley will we uncover in this segment?

It seems that individuals other than the inimitable D.S. (Barney) Zimmerley were able to place highly in air competitions. In these articles from August, 1929, The Marshall Democrat-News, an aviator named H. A. Speer fared very well in Ohio:

"Speer Won Speed Race

"Marshall Man Was First in This Cleveland Event

"H. A. Speer, sales manager for the Barling NB-3, who is in Cleveland, Ohio, attending the National Air Races, won a speed race Tuesday, according to a telegram to the Nicholas-Beazley company here.

"The same telegram revealed that D. S. (Barney) Zimmerley won third place in the all-Ohio race, in which Speer came in second."

"H.A. Speer Second in All-Ohio Race

"Second Reversal of Decision by Officers Comes Today,

"Placing the Marshall Man Next to Lewis Love of Indiana

"Cleveland, Ohio, August 27 ... (AP)

"Officers of the National Air Races again reversed today the result of the all-Ohio derby which ended yesterday, awarding to Lewis Love of Richmond, Ind., first place. This position was originally held by Love and the officials reversed themselves and gave it to H. A. Speer of Marshall, who flew the Barling NB-3. This last reversal places Speer in second position.

"The elapsed time of the two fliers as given out today gives Love 5:45:15 and Speer 5:55."

News was received and an article printed September of 1929 in the The Marshall Democrat-News, that indicates Marshall was making headlines nationally:

"Marshall Being Advertised

"Eastern Papers Are Reading About Exploits of Barling NB-3's

"A letter from John C. Guthrey, Philadelphia, Pa., states that for the past three days (the letter was dated August 29) Marshall has received big headlines in the Newark, N. J. papers, the items telling about H. A. Speer of Marshall winning prizes in the Cleveland air races. The Philadelphia Public Ledger carried a story the day the letter was written about Clarence Chamberlain, trans-Atlantic flier going to be at the throttle of a Barling NB-3 in the Buffalo-Cleveland efficiency race which was held Saturday.

Here's still more about Cleveland ...

The Marshall Democrat-News, August 29, 1929

"McKay to Cleveland

"Nicholas-Beazley display at Show So Large,

"Needed Additional Help

"A. W. McKay, manager of the Nicholas-Beazley Airport, left Thursday for Kansas City where he boarded a Universal passenger plane for Cleveland at noon and arrived in that city at 7 o'clock last night. He will attend the National Air Races.

"It was found the Nicholas-Beazley display at the exposition was so large that it was necessary to have more help so Mr. McKay was sent to supervise the races.

"The trip to Cleveland by rail takes 18 hours."

Check this out ...

As we know, attracting new businesses to a town is essential. We have a group of people who work on that now, and we also had success with attracting new businesses in 1929. All the "flutter" about Nicholas-Beazley seems to have influenced California people to give Marshall a "go."

"Propellers for Airplanes Now Are Made Here

"California Propeller Corporation Starts

"Output at One a Day ... In Scudder Bldg.

"A new industry has established itself in temporary quarters in Marshall and is now in production.

"The California Propeller Corporation, of Los Angeles, started Tuesday turning out one propeller a day in the plant here located in the Scudder building on West North Street. Five men are working. As production increases, men will be added until a force of about fifteen are working and from ten to fifteen propellers are made from rough boards of genuine imported Japanese birch, conceded to be the finest wood in the world for the purpose. The wood is noted for its extreme hardness, resistance to moisture, straightness of grain, and lightness.

"The boards are marked and cut to approximate size by a jig saw. Then five of the 1-inch-thick shaped pieces are glued together with the highest quality of hot glue under tremendous pressure. After the glue dries, the rough prop is run through the round-spinner shaper and then a hole is drilled and reamed for the hub. Holes are also bored for the bolts which hold it onto the engine.

"The embryo prop is then sent to a big lathe and roughed out in the S shape of a propeller. It is finished by hand with planes and scrapers. The pitch of the angle of the blades is all done by hand, as well as the varnishing and painting and tipping with brass. The last process is to balance the finished product.

"The local plant will manufacture a complete line of propellers for all types of engines. Experimentation is now under way on a steel hub propeller, whose blades can be adjusted to any angle and shape.

"J. W. Carroll, president of the corporation, is in Marshall attending to details of getting the local plant started. Carl Fritzen is superintendent here. Both are of the opinion that the plant here will prove a success almost from the beginning, situated as it is in the center of the airplane industry of the United States. Nicholas-Beazley will handle at least part of the production of the local plant.

"If sufficient demand for the product is made of the Marshall plant, headquarters of the corporation will be moved here, it was said. The Los Angeles plant, which is operating day and night now, will become a branch from this office and another branch will be established in the East, it was said."

Building the Vision appears Wednesday.

ANITA WRIGHT, Columnist
Building the Vision