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British Industrial History

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George Louis Outram Davidson

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George Louis Outram Davidson (1858-1939). Early aircraft designer. Member of the Aeronautical Society

of Aberdeen and sometime of Denver, Colorado

1858 September 11th. Born in Banchory, the son of Patrick Davidson and his wife Mary Anne Leslie

1888 Secretary of the English and American Mortgage Co.[1]

1897 'Mr. George L. O. Davidson says, in the "Saturday Review," that most of us will live to see the air-liners gliding from country to country at a speed of at least 300 miles an hour.'[2]

1898 'Under the auspices of the Aeronautical Society, a paper will be read by Mr. George L. O. Davidson upon the subject of mechanical flight, entitled "The Flying Machine of the Future", at the rooms of the the Society of Arts, Adelphi, next Friday afternoon. Lord Mountmorres in the chair.'[3]

1903 An engineer, arrived in New York, en route to Colorado[4]

1906 Travelled from Southampton to New York en route to Denver with Alliott Verdon-Roe[5]

1908 August. 'Mr. George L. O. Davidson, Scottish engineer from Denver, Colorado, declares that he has invented a flying machine that solved the problem of natural flight.'[6]

1908 August. Detailed letter regarding flight.[7]

1909 'Mr George L. O. Davidson has left Inchmarlo Cottage, Banchory, for the south. Mr Davidson is the well-known inventor of "Davidson’s System Flight," which is claimed to be the solution of the problem of practical mechanical flight. Davidson has now completed his experiments, and has fully protected his invention. Workshops have been built in the south of England, where Mr Davidson and his mechanics are at present constructing a full-sized air car. This machine which is neither a balloon nor aeroplane will weigh about 6 tons, and carry a dozen passengers. It can rise from the ground of its own self-contained force, and travel, carrying passengers safely and speedily from place place independent of any wind. Davidson's bid for the conquest of the air will be watched with interest by Aberdonians and Scotchmen generally.'[8]

1911 Engineer Building Flying Machine, lived in Taplow, Burnham, Berkshire, with his manager W. S. L. Mackintosh, 36, also from Scotland[9]

1926 'George L. O. Davidson, now of Inchmarlo Cottage, Banchory'[10]

1930 'Mr L. O. Davidson’s Proposed Scheme. The recent sweepstake on behalf of the Irish Free State hospitals has once again brought up the question of the legitimacy of State lotteries. Sir Arthur Holbrook, writing in the “Daily Dispatch,” praises the scheme of Mr George L. O. Davidson, of Inchmarlo, which is claimed to be a counter-attraction to gambling, and an incentive to thrift. Mr Davidson’s scheme, details of which have already appeared in the "Press and Journal"...'[11]

1937 Death of his sister Williamina Saida Davidson age 81 at Inchmarlo Cottage, Banchory. He is still alive.[12]

1939 June 26th. Died. 'One of the earliest British flying machine inventors, Mr George L. O. Davidson, Inchmarlo Cottage Banchory, was buried in Banchory Cemetery yesterday. He was the last surviving member of the family of the late Mr Patrick Davidson of Inchmarlo, a family that has been one of the best known in Deeside for several generations. Mr Davidson first designed a flying machine over forty years ago, and the intervening years continued his aeronautic activities.'[13]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Evening Standard - Thursday 04 October 1888
  2. Leicester Chronicle - Saturday 17 July 1897
  3. Globe - Monday 20 June 1898
  4. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists
  5. New York, Passenger and Crew Lists
  6. Bolton Evening News - Friday 14 August 1908
  7. The Autocar 1908/08/22
  8. Northern Times and Weekly Journal for Sutherland and the North - Thursday 30 September 1909
  9. 1911 census
  10. Aberdeen Press and Journal - Friday 01 October 1926
  11. Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 25 November 1930
  12. Aberdeen Press and Journal - Tuesday 21 December 1937
  13. Aberdeen Press and Journal - Friday 30 June 1939