Ewing in Holt County, Nebraska — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Savidge Brothers, Aviation Pioneers
Near here was the scene of some of Nebraska’s earliest experiments with flight in a heavier-than-air vehicle. Sometime before late 1907, Martin P. Savidge’s sons set out to construct a flying machine.
They began by studying hawks, then went on to build model gliders, then full size gliders, and finally a self-powered airplane. The first public demonstration was successfully held on Sunday, May 7, 1911.
Following this success, the brothers spent five years barnstorming throughout the Great Plains. Matt Savidge was among the first to develop a method of skywriting. During these five years, the brothers built and flew three different biplanes.
After a barnstorming tour through Texas, the brothers returned home in the spring of 1916 to make repairs and adjustments on their plane. During a test flight on June 17, 1916, the plane crashed, killing Matt Savidge.
After this tragedy, the family of the young fliers insisted that they give up their dangerous pastime. Thus ended one of the earliest chapters of Nebraska aviation history.
Erected by Ewing Betterment Club and Historical Land Mark Council. (Marker Number 76.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Nebraska State Historical Society marker series.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is located in a pullout on the south side of Front Street (U.S. Highway 275). Marker is in this post office area: Ewing NE 68735, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 1 other marker is within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Prairie States Forestry Project (approx. 8.7 miles away).
Also see . . .
1. The Savidge Brothers.
The dream of flying was born early in the brothers. There was a large barn on the Savidge place, located eleven miles South and ½ West of Ewing. The haymow of this barn became the workshop for the brothers. The boys started with gliders, studying hawks in flight. They then built models, increasing them in size until they were in proportion to the weight of a cat. When the gliders were perfected so that they would land with a live cat without crashing, they enlarged their gliders to work with a man. (Submitted on March 3, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. Life Among the Savidges.
The seven Savidge brothers, George, John, Joe, Dave, Matt, Phillip, and Louis, grew up at the turn of the century just south of town, and had a reputation for equipping the family farm with all sorts of ingenious inventions. (Submitted on March 3, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Air & Space •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 6, 2017. This page originally submitted on March 3, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 188 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 3, 2017, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.