The Birth of Naval Aviation

110 years ago Glenn Hammond Curtiss, at the time called by the press “the fastest man alive,” ate lunch with the officers of the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania. It was a more auspicious event than it sounds, because that lunch represented what some describe as “the birth of naval aviation”
This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.
You can purchase the bow tie worn in this episode at The Tie Bar:
All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.
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Script by THG
#history #thehistoryguy #NavalAviation

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  • Some have mentioned the pronunciation of Eugene Ely’s name. I have been unable to find an audio from the time that clearly indicates his pronunciation, and modern videos about his flight seem to disagree. However, on reflection it does seem more likely the pronunciation should have been “E-lee” rather than “E-lie,” as that is how the surname is more commonly pronounced. I do apologize for the error.

    The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedСарын өмнө
    • .

      Clifford GeerClifford GeerСарын өмнө
    • Pronunciations of less common words seem to be your channel's only fault. And you graciously accept the corrections - very refreshing.

      John PomerJohn PomerСарын өмнө
    • Living close to mr.Ely home town my last name is Ealy plus the city of Ely near hear are all pronounced E-lee

      M EalyM EalyСарын өмнө
    • No worries. Your videos are a legacy he never imagined.

      rotorheadv8rotorheadv8Сарын өмнө

      Will GriffWill GriffСарын өмнө
  • That is WILD Ely didn’t know how to swim when attempting the takeoff from the USS Birmingham! Mad respect.

    fbuellerfbueller2 өдрийн өмнө
  • Samuel Franklin Cody looks an awful lot like a young Bill Cody.

    yoinkhahayoinkhaha2 өдрийн өмнө
  • It's technical name is Navyation, thank you.

    drunkenCosmonautdrunkenCosmonaut17 өдрийн өмнө
  • what about telling the story of concorde air planes?

    Bjanka SimonsenBjanka Simonsen23 өдрийн өмнө
  • Curtiss did invent ailerons which were much more practical than wing-warping, however, they are for roll control (banking right or left) not pitch (up and down). Great video and channel!

    rhark25rhark25Сарын өмнө
  • Fascinating history about Glenn Curtis. One wonders what would have hapened if the Wrights and Curtis could have cooperated in aeronautics instead of fighting in the court. Where would US aviation have been in 1914?

    Frank GullaFrank GullaСарын өмнө
  • Unfortunately, Eugene Ely died in a plane crash later the same year that he mad the landing on the ship.

    Doug CookDoug CookСарын өмнө
  • Hashtag cat owner problems (my cats love jumping into work video calls too).

    Dana BentleyDana BentleyСарын өмнө
  • The Pennsylvania in this event was ACR-4; it was not either a protected cruiser, nor the later BB-38, it was an armored cruiser, an entirely more powerful type than a protected cruiser, and certainly not a dreadnought battleship. Neither was the North Carolina a protected cruiser; ACR12 was an even more powerful armored cruiser than Pennsylvania.

    Joe AtwoodJoe AtwoodСарын өмнө
  • "Offensive use for...blaa blaa..." 1:57 cat is like, Boring

    88Shinto88ShintoСарын өмнө
  • History Kitties need to be remembered......or else they'll remind you.

    Mike UptonMike UptonСарын өмнө
  • The story of the NC4 (the only of the 4 Nancy's to make it across the ocean) is pretty good. After the accomplishment, allUS registered airplanes carried a tail number with the prefix NC to commemorate the occasion. The C was later dropped but the N number still exists today

    Joshua SavageJoshua SavageСарын өмнө
    • Wow! Very cool.

      fbuellerfbueller2 өдрийн өмнө
  • What's your cat's name? The cat seems interested, at least, a little bit.

    john Ahrensjohn AhrensСарын өмнө
  • 1:56 Your cat seems uninterested in history. That is unless it pertains to food. Call me Sherlock, but I deduce that you interrupted recording this episode to feed him. How do I know, and what was my astute observation? Easy. By 11:44, the he peacefully purring. :)

    Gregory ParrottGregory ParrottСарын өмнө
  • Very interesting 🙂👍

    kay Hkay HСарын өмнө
  • Thank you History Guy and History Cat.

    Russ WoodwardRuss WoodwardСарын өмнө
  • Alguém que não sabia nadar ser o "pai" da AVIAÇÃO NAVAL. ...???

    Paulo José CarvalhoPaulo José CarvalhoСарын өмнө
  • Fascinating history, thanks. There seems to be some discussion now as to whether the aircraft carrier is becoming obsolete. I personally think that the cost to mainta...................KITTY!!!

    Chris MylesChris MylesСарын өмнө
  • The Wright’s may have been first but Curtiss was the father of early aviation

    jetlag747400jetlag747400Сарын өмнө
  • The Curtiss Museum in Hammonds Port , NY is a must visit. Nestled in the finger lakes region. It features all of Glenn’s accomplishments. They replicated his first float plane and have flown it on Kauka Lake. In the past they have had float plane fly ins to commemorate his first flight from water.

    David StillmanDavid StillmanСарын өмнө
  • Anything aviation related catches my interest, bet the fact that I can hear your cat purring has me sold! I love the history cat!

    Paul PoceviciusPaul PoceviciusСарын өмнө
  • The Glenn Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, NY is one of the best aviation museums in the world! Plan on two days there.

    Phil ThompsonPhil ThompsonСарын өмнө
  • Improve your channel but not this

    Dae DuboisDae DuboisСарын өмнө
  • @10:18 a history class brought to you by S.P.E.C.T.R.E.

    Lycos SurferLycos SurferСарын өмнө
  • his legacy lead to CURTISS-Wright making at least 2 iconic WW2 warplanes , the WARHAWK and the Helldiver series of Carrier based Dive Bombers which significantly contributed to the victory in the Pacific....amongst numerous other designs.

    The InfidelThe InfidelСарын өмнө
  • F! "airship"..its a damn BLIMP!

    LoneWolfSigmaLoneWolfSigmaСарын өмнө
  • Cool. Forwarding this my brother- a navy vet. Thanks HG>

    Jennifer HortonJennifer HortonСарын өмнө
  • It's mind blowing, how within a century, technology propelled us so rapidly into a society driven by artificially produced power and men envisioned that they could keep making it progressively better, not by happenstance, but with research, trial and error, persistence and wit, where for more than 5000 years, technology didn't even come close. I can't imagine what DaVinci would think of all this.

    GaslitWorld f. Melissa BGaslitWorld f. Melissa BСарын өмнө
  • Your delivery was always excellent, but other aspects of your channel now excel as well. I love the graphics.

    GaslitWorld f. Melissa BGaslitWorld f. Melissa BСарын өмнө
  • what no navel airforce during WW11? 4:00, 8:30

    baldoldbearbaldoldbearСарын өмнө
  • If you weren't such a personable guy I would say you looked like the long haired hippy version of Dr Evil petting your cat. 😉🤣🤣

    Garry TurgissGarry TurgissСарын өмнө
  • Sleepy kitty.

    Make Racists Afraid AgainMake Racists Afraid AgainСарын өмнө
  • I was wondering why you had a realistic looking cat statue in the background, then it moved.

    Eric TaylorEric TaylorСарын өмнө
  • What's the cats name? She's a cutie.

    Roger CarrollRoger CarrollСарын өмнө
    • Pookie

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedСарын өмнө
  • Do one on the under-appreciated Sopwith Pup ... originally called the “Scout”; reputed to be the first aircraft that could turn without losing altitude.

    Kenneth VaughanKenneth VaughanСарын өмнө
  • Very much enjoyed this episode of THG with the added subplot of the cat stalking the empty lap and inviting gently waving hands!

    Andre MetzlerAndre MetzlerСарын өмнө
  • I live in the Finger Lakes in Upstate NY, not far from Hammondsport. There's a Glenn Curtis Aviation Museum there with many original Curtis planes, motorcycles, etc. He's a piece of local history for us.

    Randall HessRandall HessСарын өмнө
  • You requested history to be remembered, a very unusual and noteworthy person is GEORGE SELDON, who claimed to patent the horseless carriage and demanded royalties for all cars made by all the automakers, and they paid him royalties for each car they made. EXCEPT FORD who chose to fight it and eventually won. Interestingly it cause the patent office to change patent law, that you could no longer patent a concept but needed to have a specific patent.

    Scott WinterScott WinterСарын өмнө
  • Fly Navy!

    Mr Stacy JMr Stacy JСарын өмнө
  • That's a happy History Cat.

    Johnny PopeJohnny PopeСарын өмнө
  • There is a bust of Ely at the Norfolk naval air station officers club.

    Ed LEd LСарын өмнө
    • I will have to look for that.

      fbuellerfbueller2 өдрийн өмнө
  • Kinda surprised given his roll in progressing naval aviation there is no USS Glen Curtiss aircraft carrier.

    David KearnsDavid KearnsСарын өмнө
  • After ww2,Admiral Halsey said; Battleships are the navy of yesterday, Carriers are the navy of today, Submarines are the navy of tommorrow.

    ehrldawgehrldawgСарын өмнө
  • Ely lost his life in a crash during a performance in Macon, Ga., on October 19, 1911. He was formally recognized for his seminal contribution to naval aviation in 1933, when the Navy posthumously awarded him the Distinguished Flying Cross. He was my 1st cousin, 4x removed. Your history presentations are superb.

    StevenStevenСарын өмнө
    • IDK where his medal is, he had no children. His wife, Mabel D Hall, died in 1960.

      StevenStevenӨдрийн өмнө
    • Where is his medal now? Did he have children?

      fbuellerfbueller2 өдрийн өмнө
  • I love when your cat just pops in for a visit.

    Bubbaphett BBubbaphett BСарын өмнө
  • From an old military aircraft pilot, and lover of aviation history, this was almost intoxicating. Thanks for revealing a time when our ancestors thought nothing but improvement and progress. Brilliant!

    Chris KenneyChris KenneyСарын өмнө
  • Love The History Guy! But the USS Pennsylvania was a cruiser, as battleships and armored cruisers were both named after states. USS Pennsylvania(ACR-4/CA-4) was later renamed Pittsburgh when the convention of naming only battleships after states was established. Also, the USS North Carolina was an armored cruiser as well. The North Carolina would later be renamed USS Charlotte when the name North Carolina was to be applied to the cancelled BB-52.

    Patrick UpdikePatrick UpdikeСарын өмнө
  • The use of balloons against Venice wasn't "aviation," it was a missile attack.

    SoloPilot6SoloPilot6Сарын өмнө
  • One of the things I love most about your videos are the little bits of trivia you can pick up that are mentioned almost off handedly. Like Wilbur Wright technically being the fifth person to get a pilots license even though he and his brother invented the airplane.

    Kevin WebsterKevin WebsterСарын өмнө
  • Loved this my brother was a Marine Aviator, i did not know you are a Star Trek fan.

    David JaeckelDavid JaeckelСарын өмнө
  • Love your channel. Please get some sound treatment for your recording room. That short heavy echo is annoying, and it interferes with the intelligibility of your narration, along with the hollow sounding resonance around 400 to 630 Hz.

    kimsmoke17kimsmoke17Сарын өмнө
  • God I love this channel!! You remind me of my grandfather so much!!!; Thanks for all you do

    Michael C.Michael C.Сарын өмнө
  • Love the assistance from The History Cat!

    fire304fire304Сарын өмнө
  • Glenn Curtiss became an investor in the South Florida land boom and developed the cities of Opa-locka, Hialeah, and Miami Springs, which are suburbs of Miami.

    Jose LassalleJose LassalleСарын өмнө
  • It takes courage or confidence to be the first to yeet oneself from a boat on a plane.

    captain0080captain0080Сарын өмнө
  • Birth of powered naval aviation? The fact that it happened more than 110 years ago just makes it striking how long humans have actually been flying...

    Mark FlattMark FlattСарын өмнө
  • At 02:47, there is a photo of Samuel Franklin Cody. At first I thought it was "Buffalo Bill" Cody, but I thought naw, the History Guy isn't like those clowns at Dark D_c's or Dark S___s ect., so I looked this up. Well looks like I or possibly others might make the same mistake. Meow, ha ha

    Peter SzarowPeter SzarowСарын өмнө
  • Happy Deserved Anni to Curtis! side notes: Eugene Ely from Davenport, Iowa Samuel 'Cowdery' Cody from Davenport, Iowa (as is namesake Bill Cody) US Sec of Navy was George von Lengerke Meyer of Boston, MA (whose family had connections with Harvard; NWU, Evanston, IL; Sears, Roebuck, Chicago, IL; and Lake Forest College, Lake Forest, IL), re: Curtiss Factory, Chicago and mail order planes. - and these nice folks from Moline, IL flying Curtiss aircraft: Doctor Sloan was piloting kids to University Hospitals in Iowa, City for special treatment

    scott sscott sСарын өмнө
  • In this connexion, you might like to do a video on the remarkable feat by the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) in bombing the German Zeppelin base at Cuxhaven so early in World War One, on Christmas Day 1914. Such a successful combined ship/plane achievement a mere 11 years after the Wright Bros flight deserves an airing! And generally, at this state of the war, planes were usually used for observation purposes and their pilots shooting at each other with revolvers or rifles!

    Chris HebbronChris HebbronСарын өмнө
  • I think we just met his lead research assistant!!!!

    7891ph7891phСарын өмнө
  • I had no idea. Fascinating! And what is Kitty's name?

    Mary ErbMary ErbСарын өмнө
  • Hi History Guy. I love and your show! What is your cat's name. We have seen more of your fuzzy assistant lately! 🙂

    Odyssey Tech ArtsOdyssey Tech ArtsСарын өмнө
  • You need a bigger hat wall.

    NameymcnamefaceNameymcnamefaceСарын өмнө
  • The History Cat appears to be unimpressed.

    shadetreeweldingshadetreeweldingСарын өмнө
  • 22-year now retired Naval Aviator here. Thank you, History Guy. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode! If you DM me your mailing address, I’ll send you a pair of wings.

    JimmyDickens1JimmyDickens1Сарын өмнө
  • Kitty :D

    Ethan PogueEthan PogueСарын өмнө
  • I just happened to watch this sitting in my recliner while my cat, who is colored similar to yours, is laying on me.

    William JohnsonWilliam JohnsonСарын өмнө
  • Kitteh! >^,,^

    Jon MainJon MainСарын өмнө
  • My all time favorite Curtiss...the P40.

    North Dakota HamNorth Dakota HamСарын өмнө
  • AME1 here. Four WestPac's aboard the USS Constellation CV-64, America's flag ship. Fly Navy!

    Eric SEric SСарын өмнө
  • Love your cat. They are special, smart, intuitive beings. If a cat likes you, you're doing something right.

    Randy ERandy EСарын өмнө
  • Aviation and motorcycles are my 2 passions. Glenn Curtiss is my favorite historical figure. Thank you for doing this episode.

    grfwarble hjhjgrfwarble hjhjСарын өмнө
  • As someone who lives in Hammondsport, I can highly recommend the Glen Curtis Museum. Lots of Curtis memorabilia, planes, motorcycles, engines, and a lot of great information as to just how many contributions this man made to aviation, naval and otherwise. Sorry, no tanks.

    Chris BaconChris BaconСарын өмнө
  • Ailerons for roll control, not pitch. Elevator or the analog from the period for pitch.

    Kevin RileyKevin RileyСарын өмнө
  • We now see the true force behind the scenes! THE HISTORY KITTY!

    GenJeFTGenJeFT2 сарын өмнө
  • Love it !

    Jack StewardJack Steward2 сарын өмнө
  • Hey History Guy, I haven't been on MNthe much recently because of school, but now I'm on reading week and able to catch up with what I've missed. I have to say, even as a history student, I get very good breadth of knowledge from your channel, and I really love the wide variety of historical topics that you cover. People underestimate just how important even the most random little piece of knowledge can be, but you seem to appreciate that. You're a very good lecturer and an entertaining host. I know this is an odd comment on the internet, but positive comments are under used.

    Hamish NeilsonHamish Neilson2 сарын өмнө
  • Another great episode

    chas sisomchas sisom2 сарын өмнө
  • The History Cat...

    JrGooniorJrGoonior2 сарын өмнө
  • As Mark Twian once said, "I was educated once, it took me years to get over it." I don't critize education, but with age, I have become aware that wisdom is built upon the lessons of the past more so than in most classrooms. During the 1970's, I earned two degrees in Agriculture from the University oif Missouri. Never once was mentioned the name William A. Albrecht, one of the most important faculity members ever at the University. Sometimes called the father of organic agriculture, he was the first soil scientist to connect soil quality to human health. His legacy is history that deserves to be remembered. I hope The History Guy agrees and will do a segment on Albrecht's work.

    Don TrottDon Trott2 сарын өмнө
  • I want to know more about your cat. Perhaps, as an excuse, you could offer an overview of the history of domestic cats.

    Mark WinwardMark Winward2 сарын өмнө
    • I still think you need to come up with an excuse to introduce us to your cat! 😊

      Mark WinwardMark WinwardСарын өмнө

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered2 сарын өмнө
  • Great episode!!! I live about 45 minutes from the Glenn Curtiss Museum and have visited several times I have read his biography as well. He was an amazing person and is one of my heroes. I usually have to explain to people who he is as they have never heard of him. as a side note, if you want to get a park ranger a little ruffled, mention Glenn Curtiss at the Wright Brothers memorial in Kitty Hawk! Talk about bitter rivals! Curtiss even gets the indirect blame for Wilbur Wrights untimely demise. (maybe a future episode!!!) I get a chuckle seeing the company name "Curtiss Wright"

    Rusted Wrench Restoration WorksRusted Wrench Restoration Works2 сарын өмнө
    • That's a fact. The aileron system that Curtiss developed, and brought on the lawsuit from the Wrights, has become the de facto standard in all powered aircraft today. The wing warping developed by the Wrights is consigned to ultralights.

      SkydiverClassCSkydiverClassC2 сарын өмнө
  • 136 mph on turn of the century bicycle tires? At least the helmets of the day are leather lol

    yeahitskimmelyeahitskimmel2 сарын өмнө
    • Not sure if anyone else mentioned this but Glenn Curtis was the inspiration for Tom Swift, a very popular boy inventor from the teens and twenties that in turn inspired many boys to become engineers and scientists.

      John JudgeJohn Judge2 сарын өмнө
    • And no brakes!!!! At least I didn't see any...

      JrGooniorJrGoonior2 сарын өмнө
  • Do not let the yawning fool you. History Cat is transfixed. I am guessing she got busted trying to walk on the keyboard.

    theycallmebilltheycallmebill2 сарын өмнө
  • Sagging ratings and views? No problem, Bring on the cat :)

    Rob BRob B2 сарын өмнө
    • @The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered He will, but only when it matches his intentions.

      SkydiverClassCSkydiverClassC2 сарын өмнө
    • You labor under the misapprehension that the cat follows direction.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered2 сарын өмнө
  • The history cat is yawning.... Maybe the subject does not contain enough mice?

    misterplow1misterplow12 сарын өмнө
  • This story deserves another chapter through WW2 into the jet age.

    Andrew W MacFadyenAndrew W MacFadyen2 сарын өмнө
  • about Billy Mitchel? you need to read more history , Guy.

    Dragon43ishDragon43ish2 сарын өмнө
    • Mitchell's contribution, although significant to both Army and Navy aviation, came much later.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered2 сарын өмнө
  • And the NC-4 is still available to see at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, FL. (As of writing this only those with DOD ID can access as its on NAS Pensacola)

    Brent SawyerBrent Sawyer2 сарын өмнө
  • Your cat enjoys the fact that you know... Proper history involves lovin' on your feline master. Curtiss was indeed a visionary... Who didn't let little things get in the way of making history. "It's never been done before" was his impetus.

    John GregoryJohn Gregory2 сарын өмнө
  • What is History Cat's History?

    Hooda GooboyHooda Gooboy2 сарын өмнө
    • @The History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered My two dogs have that same history.

      Hooda GooboyHooda GooboyСарын өмнө
    • It mostly involves insisting that he hasn't been fed.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered2 сарын өмнө
  • I love history you’ve gotten a new subscriber

    commonnerfercommonnerfer2 сарын өмнө
  • The Flying Tigers in China during early WWII would be a cool video

    happ3goluckyhapp3golucky2 сарын өмнө
  • Aren't you a clever dog, that kitty got you an extra 400 comments! Seriously, after 25 yrs in Naval Aviation there's always someone that can teach you a little something, very nice!

    BenderBender2 сарын өмнө
  • I JUST LOVE your Cat! Video too, I guess.

    Martin CampMartin Camp2 сарын өмнө
    • We love him too.

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be Remembered2 сарын өмнө
  • The History Cat 🐈 Yawns in Stage Boredom...

    Achille BelangerAchille Belanger2 сарын өмнө
  • Glen Curtis did more for aviation then the Wright brothers! The Wrights spent most of their time trying to sue everyone and thus held back aviation development in America until a supreme court judgement went against them. Henry Ford actually helped Curtis in financing that case, which laid the ground work for the case against Selden and his nonexistent auto company. Curtis was the first man to go over 100 mile per hour and later he went 136mph setting a record that would stand for fifty years! His untimely death cut short a very productive life and his legacy cannot be under estimated.

    BullettubeBullettube2 сарын өмнө
  • Fascinating! The aircraft carrier is the tip of the spear for modern superpowers (even if this might be the twilight for the supercarrier), but I didn't know much about the humble beginnings.

    Rob BabcockRob Babcock2 сарын өмнө
  • 1:44 “History Kitty Spotted!”

    KnightDaylightKnightDaylight2 сарын өмнө