The next meeting of the Huffman Prairie Aviation Historical Society will take place on Monday, April 3, at 7:00pm. All are welcome!
The program will be held at the East Interpretive Center, Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park, 2380 Memorial Road (intersection of State Route 444 and Kauffman Road), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Presented by the Fairborn Historical Society, Ryan Riffle and Mary Pacinda will shared “Charles Snyder: Old Osborn Aviation Pioneer.” Charles Snyder was a contemporary of the Wright Brothers and was experimenting with flight at the same time they were. Snyder, in fact, knew the Wright Brothers, who were frequent visitors to his blacksmith shop—and later his aeroplane factory—in Old Osborn.
It was often easier for the Wrights to take the trolley from Huffman Prairie to Snyder’s shop, a mere four miles away, than it was to travel back to their own shop in Dayton. Once in Osborn, they would have Snyder manufacture parts for their own aeroplanes, following their specifications. Snyder would then take the trolley to Huffman Prairie to deliver and help install the parts. Although virtually unknown today, in the early 1900s Snyder designed, flew, and sold aircraft of his own design. His flying field was close enough to Huffman Prairie that both he and the Wrights could see each other testing their craft. Snyder was locally well-known for his aircraft, probably as much as the Wrights were.
Like many aviation pioneers of that time, Snyder flew his planes in shows at county fairs. Sometimes he managed to sell one to a spectator if the money was right. In the early 1920s, Snyder, seeing no profit in his own aviation endeavors, moved his shop to New Carlisle and returned to his original trade: blacksmith. From there, he disappeared into history while other aviation pioneers continued without him.
For questions, please call 937-775-2092 or email [email protected].