EUGENE LEFEBVRE AT CHAMPAGNE AIR RACE, 1909.
Group of 4 black and white photographs, approximately 5 x 6½ inches, captions and inkstamps on verso of photographers Rol, Nyh, and Branger.
"Lefebvre ... came driving at the crowded tribunes, turned in the nick of time, went sailing off, swooped down again till he made the flags on the pillars and the plumes on the ladies' hats flutter, and so played about at will for our applause" the New York Times reporting on the August 22-29 Grande Semaine d'Aviation de la Champagne. Lefebvre attended the event in Reims as chief pilot for the French Wright Company, flying, of course, a Wright Flyer. A daredevil, he would die only a few days later in a crash at Juvisy, becoming the first person to die while piloting a powered airplane.
Comprising: a nonchalant Lefebvre in full French mode, with a cigarette dangling from his mouth; his plane, No 25, on the launch rail; in flight, near the timing post; at low altitude, rounding a pylon.