Louis Lazay
Original Content Is © 2013 - Carroll F. Gray



LAZAY, Louis

Interview, January 4, 1936

Whitehead... started on a vacant lot next to the circus grounds. This is where he made a flight. His plane was driven by a gasoline motor. It was about 1900. I am 50 years old just this month, and this was about the time when I was 14. He lived on Pine Street, next to the Protestant church. His shed was on the lot now owned by Racocci. He had ropes on the plane to tow in starting it, and also started the motor. Junius Harworth was in the plane at the time. He went off the embankment at Bostwick Avenue and landed in a ditch. The distance must have been at least 175 to 180 feet. The machine rose about as high as 30 to 40 feet. This was a folding-wing plane. This particular flight occurred in the spring or fall, but I am inclined to think it occurred in the spring. The flight took place on what was known as the flats, but it was not marshy. The ground was hard. It was near the St. Stephen's School, between the woods and the edge of town. This was all vacant then, with only a few houses on Bostwick Avenue and Spruce Street.


Stella Randolph typed notes 4 Jan 1936

I looked up Louis Lazay who was very intelligent, outspoken in his praise of Whitehead and eager to help in any way he could. He gave me the following information:

Mr. Whitehead made the first gasoline motor used for airplanes in this country. He started on a vacant lot next to the circus grounds. This is where he made a flight. His plane was driven by a gasoline motor. This was about 1900 or 1901. I am 50 years old just this month and this was about the time when I was 14. He lived on Pine street next [to] the protestant church. His shed was on the lot now owned by Racocohi. He had ropes on the plane to start it, and also started the motor. Julius Horvath was in the plan[e] at the time. He went off the embankment on over Bostwick Avenue and landed in the ditch. The distance must have been at least 175 to 180 feet. The machine rose as high as 30 to 40 feet. This was a folding winged plane. This particular flight occured in the spring or fall, but I am inclined to think it occured in the Spring. He was using a gas motor at the time. Part of the engine was aluminum, and I believe it was the crank case. The flight took place on what was known as the flats, but it was not marshy ground. The ground was hard. It was near the St. Stephens School, and between the woods and the edge of town. This was all vacant then with only a few houses on Bostwick Avenue and Spruce Street.

I remember when he had a large boat shaped plane, circling it about a stake driven into the ground and held by cement. The place was about 100 feet in diameter I should judge.

Whitehead said he had built the motor for the Wright Brothers when they flew. I recall everyone talking about it, and saying that he had built it, and I remember seeing the motor under construction. The motor was very light, much lighter than anything at the time, because of the aluminum. His brother John told me that too.



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