“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Counts Crossroads in Carter County, Kentucky — The American South (East South Central)

Aviation Pioneer / Matthew B. Sellers

Aviation Pioneer side of marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, October 18, 2019
1. Aviation Pioneer side of marker
Inscription.  Matthew Sellers is among first to experiment with gliding and power flight. Did this research at his home and laboratory, 6 miles south, 1897-1911. Built most advanced wind tunnel of his day, 1903, to study lift and drag of various wing designs; and developed first use of retracting wheels, 1908, on powered plane said to be lightest ever flown.

Born in Baltimore, 1869; of parents who were Kentuckians. He was educated in Germany and France, receiving law degree at Harvard, 1892. Died in 1932. Among patents he received; 1908, airplane-type kite, prototype for later models; 1909, four-wing glider, basis for powered plane; 1911, power plane with retractable wheels; 1914, steering and wheel retraction improvements.
Erected 1969 by Kentucky Historical Society and Kentucky Department of Highways. (Marker Number 1222.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Air & Space. In addition, it is included in the Kentucky Historical Society series list. A significant historical date for this entry is December 28, 1908.
Location. 38° 19.104′ N, 83° 
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7.143′ W. Marker is in Counts Crossroads, Kentucky, in Carter County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 60 and Grahn Rd (Kentucky Route 182), on the left when traveling south on U.S. 60. It is about half a mile from Interstate 64 exit 161. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 82 Grahn Rd, Olive Hill KY 41164, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Home of Gov. Fields (approx. 1.7 miles away); Carter County 20th Century War Memorial (approx. 3.1 miles away); Historical Mural by Northeast WIA Youth (approx. 3.1 miles away); Tom T. Hall (approx. 3.1 miles away); Beckham County (approx. 3.7 miles away); Saltpeter Cave (approx. 4 miles away); The Caves Of Carter County (approx. 4.1 miles away); Seasonal Tours (approx. 4.1 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. A Moment In Time - The Biography of Matthew B. Sellers, II, Aviation Pioneer. book listing. 2009 book by Barbara L. Sellers. It has the Look Inside feature showing plenty of photographs. From back cover:
A Moment in Time is the biography of Matthew B. Sellers, II, one of our nation’s first Aviation Pioneers. This book contains one of the most extensive collections of laboratory notes, pictures, correspondence and personal diaries of any aviation pioneer in the United States. See pictures
Matthew B. Sellers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, January 7, 2021
2. Matthew B. Sellers Marker
of the kites, gliders and quadraplanes that Matthew built and see the retractable landing gear he invented in 1908 and patented in 1911. Some of Matthew’s artifacts, including engines, propellers, air foils and a control arm can be seen in two of the Smithsonian’s museums in Washington, D.C. Other artifacts can be seen at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky, the Olive Hill Historical Society and the Northeastern Museum of Kentucky in Olive Hill, Kentucky.

Barbara states “There is mounting evidence that the Wright Brothers did not have the first powered flight in the United States.” You will read why in a special chapter she has dedicated to other aviation pioneers. “I feel that other aviators did actually fly before Orville and Wilbur. I have spent the last few years extensively researching this topic and my hope is that history books will change and the reader will learn about these other great flyers. They certainly are due recognition for their efforts.”

“Matthew was a fascinating grandfather that I never knew, as he died before I was born. I feel a special connection to him now after finishing this book. He was a genius. He was inventing things every day. He was the first to prove the theory of ‘The Lift and Drift of Arched Surfaces’ and holds the patent on this as well.”

Matthew Sellers
Aviation Pioneer – Matthew B. Sellers Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By J. J. Prats, October 18, 2019
3. Aviation Pioneer – Matthew B. Sellers Marker
Could you spot this marker while traveling 55 miles an hour? I drove past it twice! Kentucky markers tend to blend into the background.
had the first powered flight in Kentucky on December 28, 1908. He was sought after by other aviators for his advice and was appointed to the first Naval Consulting Board in 1915 by President Woodrow Wilson and Thomas A. Edison. I think anyone who reads this book will be truly fascinated to read what my grandfather accomplished in his lifetime and how he contributed to and changed aviation history.
(Submitted on February 10, 2020.) This website may earn income if you use this link to make a purchase on 

2. Aviation Pioneer Matthew B. Sellers Documentary — 4 minute trailer.
(Submitted on February 10, 2020.) 
Aviation Pioneer Matthew B. Sellers (1869–1932) image. Click for full size.
From glass negative by Bain News Service, Library of Congress Collection, September 13, 1915
4. Aviation Pioneer Matthew B. Sellers (1869–1932)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 10, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio. This page has been viewed 637 times since then and 220 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week May 31, 2020. Photos:   1. submitted on February 10, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.   2. submitted on January 10, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio.   3, 4. submitted on February 10, 2020, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.

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Dec. 8, 2023