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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Niagara Falls in Niagara Region, Ontario — Central Canada
 

Niagara Spanish Aero Car

 
 
Niagara Spanish Aero Car Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 15, 2014
1. Niagara Spanish Aero Car Marker
Inscription. Leonardo Torres Quevedo (1852–1936) was an ingenious Spanish engineer. Among his creations were algebraic machines, remote control devices, dirigibles and the world’s first computer.

The Niagara Spanish Aero Car was designed by Leonardo Tores Quevedo and represented a new type of aerial cable way that he called “transbordador.” Officially opened on August 8, 1916, it is the only one of its kind in existence.
 
Erected 1991 by The Niagara Parks Commission, Ontario.
 
Location. 43° 7.112′ N, 79° 4.12′ W. Marker is in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in Niagara Region. Marker is on Niagara Parkway south of Victoria Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. It is in the viewing area between the Aero Car ticket windows and the gift shop building just outside the covered pavilion. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3850 Niagara Pkwy, Niagara Falls, Ontario L2E 3E8, Canada.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Whirlpool Rapids Gorge (about 150 meters away, measured in a direct line); Eddy Basin (approx. 0.3 kilometers away in the U.S.); Whirlpool Rapids (approx. 0.3 kilometers away in the U.S.); Niagara Gorge Natural History
Niagara Spanish Aero Car Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 15, 2014
2. Niagara Spanish Aero Car Marker
The attraction’s name was recently changed to Whirlpool Aero Car.
(approx. 0.4 kilometers away in the U.S.); Challenging the Whirlpool Rapids (approx. 0.4 kilometers away in the U.S.); Welcome to Whirlpool State Park (approx. 0.4 kilometers away in the U.S.); Thompson Point (approx. 0.6 kilometers away); Niagara River Recreation Trail (approx. 0.7 kilometers away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Niagara Falls.
 
Regarding Niagara Spanish Aero Car. The aero car has a perfect safety record, and an auxiliary engine for use in the event of electric motor or power failure. Except in training exercises, the 4 passenger rescue car has never been used.
 
Related marker. Click here for another marker that is related to this marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Whirlpool Aero Car - A History. Excerpt from first-person account: “Perhaps the most interesting note is that the original ‘rescue device’ for the Aero car was a two wheeled bicycle device. The wheels ran on one of the cables. The frame, seats and pedals where below the wheels. The pedals drove a long chain that turned one of the wheels. (rear one if I remember correctly)
The Spanish Aero Car over the Niagara Gorge Whirlpool image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 15, 2014
3. The Spanish Aero Car over the Niagara Gorge Whirlpool
this contraption hung in the equipment room (‘cave’ as we called it) all the time I was in the area. I never saw the device in use, but was told that when the Aero car was inspected (It was licensed as an elevating device at that time) Charlie (the operator in charge at the time) had to mount the bike and ride it across to verify that it was a viable means of rescue. This I am sure would have been a VERY interesting ride.” (Submitted on December 6, 2014.) 

2. Information Sheet on the Niagara Spanish Aero Car. This one-page PDF file gives the specifications and history. It includes a photograph of the original car. (Submitted on December 6, 2014.) 

3. Atlas Obscura Entry for Niagara Falls Whirlpool Aerocar. “Niagara Falls has long been associated with daredevil stunts of varying levels of bravery or lunacy. In the summer of 1975, a French high wire artist named Henri Rechatin arrived in the predawn hours with his wife, a specially modified motorcycle, and a moto-cross driver with no previous high-wire experience. At 6:30 am they set out across the Aerocar cable, Henri balanced above, his wife Janyck hanging below by her feet. When the wind picked up, Henri walked the final 15 feet to the northern terminal, pulled the motorcycle in, and waited in the Aerocar for the operator to arrive. The three were
View from Stairs to the Embarkation Platform image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 15, 2014
4. View from Stairs to the Embarkation Platform
Car rolls on the six outermost cables. The car is hauled between Colt Point (here) and Thompson Point (visible in the distance) by its center cable using a stationary 75 hp motor at the Colt Point station. It is operated from the control room directly below the photographer.
arrested, but never charged.” (Submitted on December 6, 2014.) 

4. Wikipedia Entry for Leonardo Torres y Quevedo. “It has been commonly assumed ... that [Englishman] Charles Babbage’s work on a mechanical digital program-controlled computer, which he started in 1835 ... [was the] forerunner to the modern digital computer. ... Torres Quevedo demonstrated twice, in 1914 and in 1920, that all of the cogwheel functions of a calculating machine like that of Babbage’s could be implemented using electromechanical parts. His 1914 analytical machine used a small memory built with electromagnets; his 1920 machine ... used a typewriter to receive its commands and print its results.” (Submitted on December 6, 2014.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Nearby Civil Engineering Tribute Plaque image. Click for full size.
By J. J. Prats, October 15, 2014
5. Nearby Civil Engineering Tribute Plaque

International Historic Civil Engineering Site.
The Niagara Spanish Aerocar.

A tribute to the distinguished Spanish Engineer who designed the Niagara Spanish Aero Car. This was only one of his many outstanding contributions to the engineering profession.
—The Canadian Society for Civil Engineering 2010

Enclave Histórico Internacional de Ingeniería Civil.
El Transbordador Español de Niágara.

Un homenaje al distinguido ingeniero español que concibió el Transbordador Español de Niagara. Esta fue sólo una de sus muchas sobresalientes contribu­ciones en la profesión de Ingeniería.
—Asociación de Ingenieros de Caminos, Canales y Puertos de España 2010

Site Historique International de Génie Civil.
Le Téléférique Espagnol du Niagara.

Un hommage à l’éminent ingénieur espagnol qui a conçu le Téléférique Espagnol du Niagara. Ce n’était que l’une de ses nombreuses contributions exceptionnelles à la profession d’ingénieur.
—La société canadienne de génie civil 2010.

Engineer — Ingeniero — Ingénieur
Leonardo Torres Quevedo (1852–1936)

Constructed — Construido — Construit
1914–1916
<i> Aerial Cableway Above Whirlpool. Niagara Falls, Canada</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard by the Albertype Company, circa 1930
6. Aerial Cableway Above Whirlpool. Niagara Falls, Canada
<i>Cable Car Crossing the Great Whirlpool, Niagara Falls, Canada</i> image. Click for full size.
Postcard by F.H. Leslie, Ltd., circa 1925
7. Cable Car Crossing the Great Whirlpool, Niagara Falls, Canada
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 6, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia. This page has been viewed 346 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 6, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   5. submitted on December 11, 2014, by J. J. Prats of Springfield, Virginia.   6, 7. submitted on December 7, 2014.
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