Letter to William J. O'Dwyer, November 20, 1963
4885 S.W. 118th Ave.
Dear B. O - ["Bill O'Dwyer"]
In respect to Whitehead -
I do not know of anyone having information of engines or planes he made.
I recall pushing his plane down Bostwick Ave. about the period 1901 - 1903 - I talked to Louis Vecsey on the phone here in Miami and he also recalls this happening. We were going to school then when Mr. Whitehead moved out to Tunxis Hill. Whitehead established a good sized machine shop where he worked on his engines and planes. This was at the Fulton (?) Place, corner of Tunxis Hill & Marlborough Road.
I saw several of his plane trials at the old West Side Ball Park near Villa Ave.
Mrs. Whitehead was Hungarian and my F. (sic) mother became friendly with her. We came (sic) friends of the Family and Mr. Whitehead allowed me in his machine shop any time. I watched him for hrs. sometimes machine engine cylinders out of solid steel.
During this period, the N.H. Railroad had several train wrecks, in Bridgeport.
The big cry in the newspapers caused the N.H. Railroad to advertise that it will pay $10,000 for a device that will stop a train when it passes a stop signal -
In discussing this with Mr. Whitehead we decided to make the device he was to make the air cylinders, tank, brakes. I made the electric components, solenoids, switches, etc. We went to New York with Mr. Whitehead and bought a model steam train with tracks. We made up the device and it worked. That is it stopped the train if it went by a stop signal. I carried Mr. Whitehead and the device to New Haven on my motorcycle. After considerable delays we found out the Railroad had no intention of paying the prize. They only put the ad in the paper to soothe the public outcry. [New Haven Railroad events took place in 1912]
We exhibited the device at the Y.M.C.A. and it worked, that is it stopped the train every time it went by a stop signal.
The Whiteheads lived in our house for about 3 months, when the Fulton house was sold - when they left they went to their own house off Old Stratfield Road.
Dear B.- O' - please give my regards to Krisse (?) and the children.
May god be with you.