The Larned, Kansas Tiller and Toiler trumpeted the arrival of daring aeronaut and inventor Captain J. A. McCallum and Captain William Evans, who, in less than one month went in the press from unknown amateur to “daring aviator who has made many successful flights in the east.”
McCallum and Evans were to make a number of flights each day in what the paper said would be “competition for height, distance, speed, endurance, time of starting and alighting, and other records.” Evans, the press reported, had been known to fly as high as 500 feet – a marvel not to be missed.
“This exhibition,” the advertising promised, “will afford the first opportunity the people of central and western Kansas have ever had to witness genuine air-ships in flight.” This was not Evans' first time giving Midwesterners their first look at a “genuine” aeroplane, and perhaps he faced some of the same skepticism the people of Skidmore felt before his flights in September 1910. “The flights will be made in aeroplanes, not in balloons, and the flights will positively take place every day if the weather permits,” the Tiller and Toiler promised.
Everyone in the county was urged to attend for the ticket price of fifty cents (children under 14, twenty-five cents) – a small price to pay to witness the “First Airship Flight Ever Attempted West of Topeka and East of Denver!”
This front-page ad appeared in the October 28, 1910 Tiller and Toiler newspaper. The photo on the right, showing Evans in flight, was taken by photographer G. C. Ashbrook during Evans' exhibition at the 1910 Punkin Show in Skidmore, Missouri.
Next: This Airship Business