TWO GENERATIONS OF PIONEER AVIATORS LINKED.
CHANUTE, OCTAVE. Progress in Flying Machines. New York: M.N. Forney, 1899. [viii], 308 pp. 9 x 6 inches. Original blue-gray cloth, gilt device on upper cover of Lilienthal in flight. Hinges a little weak, some soiling.
INSCRIBED by CHANUTE, "With best wishes for your future, O. Chanute," and with ownership inscription below of L.J. Lesh, March 25, 1907.
Lesh would later become a radio engineer, but at the time of this gift he was a mere 15 or 16 years old. The Royal Aeronautical Society's Aëronautical Journal describes him in July 1908 as a "lad of great promise," and reports that he has flown a glider for 6 miles along the St. Lawrence River, towed by a motor boat. Notwithstanding his youth, this "Practical Aeronaut" succeeded in having an article on aviation published in Scientific American on August 8, 1908.
A wonderful association copy, not least because Lesh's gliders were based on Chanute's designs. At the time of this inscription, Chanute was 75 years old. His biplane hang glider was extremely influential to the Wright brothers.