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Sunday, 10 August 2014

Flying a Corona 3 Portable Typewriter over Enemy Lines

While we mark the centenary of the outbreak of World War I, it is interesting to note that the first typewriter used in an aircraft over enemy lines in that conflict was, of course, the Corona 3 folding portable:
A young Lewis Freeman
Presumably this Typewriter Topics advert was based on Freeman's feat.
The Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" was one of a series of "JN" biplanes built by the Curtiss Aeroplane Company of Hammondsport, New York, later the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company. It was originally produced as a training aircraft for the US Army and became the "backbone of American post-war [civil] aviation." The Curtiss JN-4 is possibly North America's most famous World War I aircraft. It was widely used during the war to train beginning pilots, with an estimated 95 per cent of all trainees having flown a JN-4.
 A Jenny up a tree
Lewis Ransome Freeman was born at Genoa Junction, Wisconsin on October 4, 1878. He was an American explorer, journalist and war correspondent who wrote 21 books chronicling his many travels, as well as numerous articles. Freeman moved with his family to Pasadena, California, as a boy. He attended Stanford University, where he earned letters in football, baseball, tennis and track, and graduated in 1898. Remarkably, while a student at Stanford, he also served as coach of the University of Southern California's football team in 1897.
After graduating from Stanford, Freeman spent the years 1899-1912 traveling throughout the Americas, Asia, Africa and the Pacific Islands, although in his various returns to Pasadena he continued his athletic endeavours, winning the 1903 Ojai Valley tennis tournament in both men's singles and doubles.
Lewis Freeman's passport photo, 1915
Lewis Freeman's passport photo, 1916
In 1905 he served as a war correspondent in the Russo-Japanese War. During World War I he was a correspondent with the British, French, and Italian armies from 1915 to 1917, and he became a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1917-18. He was a correspondent attached to the Grand Fleet late in the war, and was a staff member for the Inter-Allied Naval Armistice Commission which traveled to Germany in 1918.
After the war, Freeman focused on writing, turning out nine books between 1918 and 1922, and another each year through to 1928. In 1925 he was a special correspondent with the US Navy Pacific Fleet on its cruise to Australasia. In 1930-31 Freeman was part of an airplane and motorboat expedition to Central and South America, and in 1933 he embarked on a series of airplane flights exploring the coasts and interior of South America.
Typospherians who love to cycle will be interested to know that in 1935 Freeman road coast to coast on a bicycle, starting from Los Angeles to Vancouver, then from Vancouver to Montreal, and ending riding from Montreal to New York City, a total of more than 3500 miles.
In 1936 he took part in cruises to the Juan Fernández Islands and Tierra del Fuego, as well as an expedition to the headwaters of the Amazon and Ecuador. In 1938 he undertook an expedition to the highlands of southern Mexico and Guatemala. In 1939 he took part in a cruise to the Galápagos Islands and the west coast of Colombia, and in 1941 he explored Bolivia, Peru and Brazil.
He retired to Pasadena in 1955, and died there on November 6, 1960, at age 82. His books included: Many Fronts (1918), Stories of the Ships (1919), Sea Hounds (1919), To Kiel in the Hercules (1919), In the Tracks of the Trades: The Account of a Fourteen Thousand Mile Yachting Cruise to the Hawaiis, Marquesas, Societies, Samoas and Fijis (1920), Hell's Hatches (1921), Down the Columbia (1921), Down the Yellowstone (1922), When Cassi Blooms (1922), The Colorado River - Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (1923), Down the Grand Canyon (1924), On the Roof of the Rockies (1925), By Water Ways to Gotham (1926), Waterways of Westward Wandering (1927), The Nearing North (1928), Afloat and Aflight in the Caribbean (1932), South America - Airwise and Otherwise (1933), Marquesan Nocturne (1936), Discovering South America (1937), Many Rivers (1937), Brazil, Land of Tomorrow (1942)
1937 advert
From The USC Trojans Football Encyclopedia by Richard J. Shmelter

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