FRENCH AVIATION PIONEER ROGER SOMNER PILOTS HIS BIPLANE (VINTAGE REAL PHOTO POSTCARD)

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This vintage real photo postcard features a portrait of French aviator Roger Somner (1877-1965) sitting in the pilot seat  of his 1910 biplane. Somner was an aviation pioneer. The Washington Herald (1909) reported that he broke a world record in a Farman Biplane by flying one hour and fifty minutes at the height of 80 feet. This was a record due to the length of time logged in the air. The Oregon News (1909) described an international aviation contest involving at least five nations competing for about 401,000 dollars worth of prizes. Somner was representing France while the American competitor was Glenn Curtiss (another celebrated aviation pioneer). The Lewiston Evening Journal (1910) reported that Somner ad established a new world record by piloting a plane with three passengers for a total of five minutes. Somner was clearly a brave man. This vintage postcard has a postmark from the French city of Bordeaux in 1951.

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PAOLA MARIE: FRENCH OPERA STAR, NEWS OF HER IMPENDING DEATH PROVES FALSE

Paola Marie was a well known and talented French opera star. She was the sister of opera star Irma Marie. The publication “Every Saturday” (1874) tells an interesting tale about the performer. She was appearing in Bordeaux, France when an oversight or practical joke occurred in the printing of a notice advertising that her engagement was about to come to an end. The sign said that “Mlle Paola Marie was expiring on “friday next”, and there would be only four more performances of “The Perichole”. The notice should have said that the performance of the opera was about to expire. Upon reading about the star’s impending death, her faithful fans came out in mass, carrying many bouquets of flowers, to pay their “last homage” to the popular actress.  The photographer of this cabinet card, Mora, was a celebrity photographer located on Broadway, in New York City. To see other photographs by Mora, click on the category, “Photographer: Mora”.

Published in: on February 8, 2011 at 12:01 am  Leave a Comment  
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