James Thomson
Original Content Is © 2013 - Carroll F. Gray


Affidavit, 10 Oct 1964

I, James Thomson, residing at 583 Knapps Highway, Fairfield, Connecticut declare the following to be fact to the best of my knowledge and recollection. Further, I have been told of the historical significance of any statement and the necessity for accuracy.

I knew Gustave Whitehead and his family very well. In the early 1900's I lived at Lenox Heights on old Stratfield Road. We first moved there in 1905. There were only a few houses on the hill at the time and I can recall all the families that lived there. Whitehead built his home on the corner of what is now Ridgley Avenue and Lenox Road. I delivered the lumber to him myself. He bought it from West End Lumber Yard where I worked. I still work at the same place. I have gone to work there for 58 years. I used to deliver the lumber with a horse drawn wagon.

You ask if I ever saw him fly. Well, I'll tell you the truth, "no I never did!". The plane you call the bi-plane, and the one with the 3 wings I recognize, but they never flew. The engine was not powerful enough, and it wouldn't run for too long a time.

I do not remember any of his craft from back on Pine Street, and therefore cannot say if they flew or not. I was only 13 years old in 1901, and hadn't met Whitehead at that time. It was only later when he moved up to Tunxis hill that I can recall any of his experiments.

He was a smart man, and I'm sure if he could have had more money to work with he would have made out better. Did you ever try to experiment on anything with only 2 or 3 dollars in your pocket ?

I remember one day he and I were talking, and he pointed up in the air and said, "Thomson, some day you'll see aircraft flying all over !". He never mentioned to me that he had ever flown at all. I'm not claiming he didn't, but just that he never said a word to me about ever flying.

To the best of my knowledge no one could have ever flown at Gypsy Springs. The ground was rocky and full of bushes.

The milkman in the photo with the glider was Rufus Weles from Greenfield Hill in Fairfield.

Whitehead, should get al the credit in the world for what he did in accomplish, but, I never could say he flew any of his plane's (sic) he built up here on the hill.

Sworn and Witnessed