July 20, 2010

Cromwell Dixon on History Detectives

It was fun to watch the History Detectives piece on Cromwell Dixon. They didn't use any of my graphics, but then my expectations were low, even though they had requested a graphics release form from the publisher.

Even Martin Kidston, the main Dixon biographer scarcely got more than 45 seconds of airtime... and no image of his book cover. I thought it a bit odd that the History Detectives didn't just get on Facebook, where they could quickly get in touch with the actual living relatives of Cromwell Dixon. Instead they seemed to take a more circuitous route of discovery. Perhaps one might speculate that for the astute History Detective, the instant connection of Facebook might make it all too easy... and they were in need of a challenge.

But I was interested to see this spike of the website stats this morning! I quite agree with the premise of the program that Cromwell Dixon is one of America's forgotten pioneers of aviation. Still, the wisdom of the chain stores to decide to not allow this book on their shelves seems a wise one.. who is to question corporate wisdom? I'm sure the corporate book buyers decided that today's modern child has no interest in dusty old things like bicycles flying up a mile over Columbus Ohio!

My favorite parts were the photos of Cromwell, many of which I'd never seen. The one picture in particular seems to capture the spirit of Dixon's innate mechanical genius and determination.

Imagine... a boy of 14 who built his own flying bicycle!

I think they have an app for that now, so today's kids don't have to leave the couch and get up to that sort of mischief.


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