In 1909 Carl S. Bates wrote an article entitled "How to Build a Glider". The article was published in POPULAR MECHANICS that year, so we're getting pretty close to the beginning of our Century of Flight. The craft became known simply as "the Popular Mechanics Glider" and hundreds were built.
The illustration at the left is from the
inside front cover of
THE BOY MECHANIC
700 Things for Boys to Do
which was published in 1913 by Popular Mechanics Press. Inside that book is the article by Carl S. Bates.
As I was putting up this venerable article on the web, I wondered about who was Carl S. Bates who wrote this article so long ago. Here's a bit about him.
Of course this article would never be published today. Building yourself a glider and jumping off a hilltop is DANGEROUS! The liability of the publisher would be enormous. In that regard I also must say, "Don't try this at home!" I put up this article rather because of its significant historical interest. Looking back across almost a century of time from the perspective of a student pilot in the 21st century, here are a few thoughts about this article.