May 15, 200603:39 PMThe Life
Did Lyman Gilmore beat the Wright brothers?
May 15, 2006 - 03:39 PMLyman Wiswell Gilmore, Jr. built a steam-powered airplane in Grass Valley (near Sacramento, CA) and claimed that he flew it on this date in 1902, nineteen months before the Wright's flight at Kitty Hawk.
Lyman was an eccentric man who avoided bathing, shaving and cutting his hair. He believed that if he did so, it would diminish his strength and vitality. People who remember him say that he stank to high heaven. He wore a trench coat, even in the middle of summer, which contained all of his papers. At one point, he was forcefully deprived of the coat for a delousing, and it was later burned, along with all the records he carried in it.
Any proof that Lyman beat Wilbur and Orville Wright was lost with the smelly coat.