On This Day …

“Unless you have been up in a balloon, you cannot imagine the splendor of the of the  panoramic picture below you … It is a memory never to be forgotten; something that cannot be imagined.” So said Evening Telegraph reporter Bruce A. Gustin after  accompanying Captain H. Eugene Honeywell on the Uncle Sam. Captain Honeywell was one of three balloon pilots who participated in the balloon race that began at Colorado College’s Washburn Field on Aug. 28, 1912. This was the first long distance race to be held at such high altitude. The Aero Club of America sponsored the race, hoping to boost the sport. Dr. Gerald Webb, Spencer Penrose and James F. Burns were among the judges selected for the event. Paul McCullough in the X of Akron, and John Watts in the Kansas City II, joined Honeywell in pursuit of the Antlers Cup. In the end, Watts won the award after travelling a distance of 42 miles. As for Bruce A. Gustin, the reporter pledged that if he were to receive a wage increase, he would surely take up ballooning to spend his days drifting among the clouds.

Photo courtesy of Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum

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