quinta-feira, 23 de fevereiro de 2012

Santos=Dumont apartment in Paris

Dirigible Santos=Dumont # 9 parked in front of the famous address Paris Champs Elysées, 114 ou rue Washington, 5

According to Antonio Sodré, in his biography of Santos Dumont “Santos Dumont, Um Heroi Brasileiro” ("Santos Dumont, a Brazilian Hero" not available to English speakers) the rumors that Santos=Dumont would be homosexual, was the outcome of a commercial competition as explains Paul Hoffman:

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“The New York papers were engaged in a fierce competition for readers, and the New-York Mail and Express had sent a reporter to Santos-Dumont's Paris apartment so it could publish an exclusive story when he arrived in the States.”

Also according to Sodré, Santos was almost daily subject in the pages of a newspaper competitor, the New York Herald, for being a celebrity and also for being a friend of its owner, James Gordon Bennett, a millionaire who lived in Paris. Of course, the first hand news about the aviator sells more newspapers.

Therefore the editor of the New York Mail and Express decided tarnish the shine of Santos Dumont, the journalist said himself:

"The tea service displayed on a corner of the room and there he often drink this female drink. Everything in the room is extremely tasteful and nothing indicates, nor for a moment, a masculine touch. "

Sodré concludes that the tea set, as well as the good taste of Santos was sufficient for this prejudiced reporter to create a biased article.
Santos=Dumont exotic invention, the two meter high table and chairs

All other newspapers have treated our hero more respectfully as this beautiful article written by the British magazine "The Sketch" inset in the Illustrated London News to cover the aristocracy and high society of the time.

Anyway, as I am in the midst of a creative process, seeking to understand the life of the aviator, and create the illustrations for my book as well, I decided to put some references of my research on the apartment that Santos Dumont kept on Avenue Champs Elysées, 114 or rue Washington, 5 in Paris. 
 S=D Office
Apartment nowadays
papier peint 1
papier peint 2
Main door handle

terça-feira, 21 de fevereiro de 2012

How Santos=Dumont will sail over New York

Santos=Dumont flying over the Globe Céleste de l'Exposition Universelle de 1900 en Paris with his dirigible Number Four

The Santos=Dumont dream of fly over the main cities started back in 1900, when he flew over l'exposition universelle  with his dirigible number four. Nobody depicted the adventure of flying over the biggest cities of the world, such as New York, as Livingstone Cooper of the American edition of Metropolitan Magazine.

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Take a trip on a modern concept of steampunk flight of Santos=Dumont over NEW YORK as told at the verge of his visit to US in March 1902.

An Aerial Journey above the Sky-Scrapers, with St. Paul’s Spire as a Turning-Stake, and a bird’s-eye view of Brooklyn Bridge.


This summer will witness in New York the realization of what makers of wonder-pictures long ago began to create from the figments of imagination, making the upper air as highway for travel. What Paris has seen we will behold, and the man who steered his airship around the Eiffel Tower will make the spire of St. Paul’s Church the turning point in an aerial voyage covering the length and breadth of Manhattan Island. He will sail in among the sky scrapers which environ the historic edifice, steering clear of them, after rounding his mark, will retrace his course to the point of starting.
Santos=Dumont consulting time in his brand new Cartier

When Santos=Dumont rises into the air somewhere in the upper portion of the city, millions of New Yorkers will wish him bon voyage, and millions of faces will turn upward to watch his flight. The shrieks of steam whistles will greet him all along the way, while windows and housetops will flutter in his sight like masses of waving handkerchiefs and flags.
Dirigible Santos=Dumont Number Nine docked in front his apartment in Paris

New York will not regret the exhibition as a wonder, but simply as a novelty. It will be a thing long expected because long promised. The wonder is that the promise involved in the first balloon, sent into the air of the eightieth century, remains only partially fulfilled in these opening years of the twentieth century. New York will accept the aeroyacht, when it comes in its perfection, just as she has accepted the automobile, dissipating is novelty by making it as familiar as many other things are which would have sent our great-grandfathers to their knees in prayer for protection against the power of Beelzebub. We would not try to get along without any one of those once wonderful things to-day; we are reaching after more in the same line. Santos=Dumont will bring to us only a hint, after all, though a very promising on, of another convenience of which we have been dreaming, for which we are determined to posses some day. Behind the enthusiasm attending his exhibitions there will be not more of exultation over his achievement than of quickened hope for the speedy solution of the problem involving the air with the freedom and swiftness of the birds.

Santos=Dumont will sail his airship under and over Brooklyn Bridge. The daring Brazilian is but a young man, not yet thirty years old, but he was a boy who could be trusted at the throttle of one of the locomotives used upon his father’s vast coffee plantation just about the time when that mighty span over the East River, the wonder of its highway of a multitudinous traffic. It is no longer a wonder to the New Yorker, who will stand with many thousands upon its broad promenades and great platforms, watching the aeronaut in his flight. Their gaze will follow him as he flats above that other colossus standing astride the stream further up, but there will be no realization of the fact that two new wonders are included in the view – both only promises of what is to be. They know that ere long they will walk and ride across the newer, bigger bridge, but their one ambition, as they behold the scene, will be some day to soar above it. And when that some day comes – but why anticipate the decadence of wonder into that commonplace interest which will attach to the size, beauty, and speed of this or that millionaire’s aerial flyer?
Santos=Dumont at the St. Paul Building at Bradway and Ann Street

One of the journeys which will probably be undertaken by Santos=Dumont will be a trip over the harbor and bay. It would be full of interest in many ways, and the flight of the air-ship to and around the Statue of the liberty, or down through the Narrows and back, would be a strange contrast that the novel craft would present to the fleet of steam vessels which would keep pace with it on the waters of harbor and bay. 

From the shores it would appear like a giant bird hovering in air above the fleet. Still more exciting would the exhibition become should the aeronaut put on speed and try conclusions with some of the swift steam yachts or big passenger boats. The air-ship and one of the palatial boats that ply between New York and the Atlantic Highlands could make a very pretty race. It would be worth going miles to see. A trip up and down the Hudson would be another exhibition whereby Santos=Dumont might display the abilities of his craft. The airship flying along abreast the precipitous walls of the Palisades would be a scene almost weirdly picturesque.

Whatever trips may be decide upon by the aeronaut during his stay in New York, none will be more interested than those which will be made over the city itself. They will not be lacking in the element of excitement, for the tall buildings which loom up, singly and in groups, in various sections of New York and Brooklyn, would serve as turning marks for a great variety of courses. These could be laid out with a view to testing the dirigibility of the airship in any possible direction on a single trip, affording definite indications of the degree of control possible under any given conditions. With triangular, four sided, and zigzag courses, accurately marked, the performances of the airship could be made extremely valuable, and the possibilities which exist in this direction are of vast importance if aerial voyaging is to become, even for pleasure purposes, the practical thing that the world is looking for. The airship may be developed much beyond what Santos=Dumont has made it, and still be only a plaything for the most venturesome. But it will not fulfill its mission until, like the automobile, it is developed into some form where it will serve useful purposes.

This is a more serious view of the matter, however, than will be taken by the multitude whose eyes will follow Santos=Dumont in his venturesome journeys, whose voices will rise in boisterous greeting form every point where people will mass themselves to watch him. They will be trilled by excitement when his docile leviathan of the air swoops down from the clear heights to pick its way among towering structures and sweeps around some designated mark. He will approach disaster none too closely to minister to their appetite for sensation. His avoidance of it will be the glory of the moment. The full glory of its significance will come with the later sober reflection upon what it will mean for mankind in that constantly accelerating march of progress which scorns limitations. 

Unfortunately, this flight over New York never happened !

quarta-feira, 8 de fevereiro de 2012

Postcards, greeting cards & menus – Santos=Dumont’s life, day by day

We know so much about Santos=Dumont great deeds, but, how was his life, day by day?

Here are some postcards, letters, menus and some other documents that shows a little more about the intimacy of this great genius.

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Lunch in Campinas Sep, 18 1903
Bennerville - Jul, 30 1927
From Megev to Henrique Dumont Villares - 1928 - 
"Dear Henrique,Happy 1908 to you all, here also I do much skiing.
Miss you! Uncle Alberto. "
Postcard to Guilherme Villares - Jul, 7 1930 - front

Postcard to Guilherme Villares - Jul, 7 1930 - Back
I have visited
 Ouro Preto, was here today and tomorrow I will to The Minas de Ouro Velho. And God willing, I'll be Saturday night at the
Hotel Avenida Rio
  Regards - Alberto "

Add caption

"Dear Henrique,

The director has just invited me to go this afternoon by train to Ribeirao Preto,and how it is for me a great pleasure, I accepted. He will make me do not come back this afternoon to take the train. He invited me to lunch, which I accepted and the ask you please to excuse me for not going to lunch with you.

See you soon"

"Dear Henrique,

How was the trip?
Give me news of your father.
Here is going well, the weather is beautiful,
 I’m already in my new apartment in the Rue Villault 5 "logeune"
(maybe Duchesnois, Valognes) and there
I am living with the son of "Sabreur" (his greyhound racing dog).
The races begin soon, but it only run in May.
Send my regards to Lena and to everybody else.

Paris - April, 4 1930