MP-0000.597.271 | Aeroplane for spotting seal herds carried aboard S. S. Nascopie, 1927

Aeroplane for spotting seal herds carried aboard S. S. Nascopie, 1927
Captain George E. Mack ?; Frederick W. Berchem ?
1927, 20th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Gelatin silver process
8 x 13 cm
Gift of Mrs. R. Mack
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Photograph (77678) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

In the 19th century, airplanes are still an idea that people can only dream about. But technology has a way of making it possible for people to realize their dreams...

In 1891 in Berlin, Otto Lilienthal is the first man to fly, in a glider. The Avion, built by the engineer Clément Ader (who also invented stereo sound), takes off on October 14, 1897, in Satory, France, and flies a distance of 300 metres: this is the first verified mechanized flight.

On December 17, 1903, the brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright fly their Flyer at Kitty Hawk in the United States. Orville is in the pilot's seat in a flight that makes it into the record books as the first mechanized flight controlled by a pilot. This famous flight is also the beginning of aviation.

In Canada, the history of aviation starts in 1909. Since then, Canada - and in particular Montreal - has built an international reputation for aircraft manufacturing and maintenance.

Source : Brand New and Wonderful: The Rise of Technology [Web tour], by Jacques G. Ruelland, Université de Montréal (see Links)

  • What

    Airplanes have all sorts of uses. This biplane, the Sopwith Snipe 7F.1, is shown being transported on a ship prior to being used to locate herds of seals. But the ship is not a aircraft carrier and the Sopwith Snipe is not capable of landing on water, so the whole operation has to take place close to shore. A good thing seals like beaches...

  • Where

    In 1907, Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, forms the Aerial Experiment Association with four young men interested in aviation. Their workshop is on the Bell estate at Baddeck, a small village on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. The first flight of an airplane in Canada takes place on February 29, 1909, at this location. J.A.D. McCurdy, the pilot, flies his biplane, the Silver Dart, several hundred metres over the frozen lake at Baddeck, thereby introducing aviation to Canada.

  • When

    In 1910 in Montreal, Percy Reid builds several planes he has designed. At first he works out of a garage on Bishop Street; later he builds Canada's first aircraft hangar in Cartierville, Quebec.

  • Who

    Before 1919, most of the vast northern regions of Canada remain unexplored. But with the start of commercial aviation after the First World War, all that changes.