Tuesday, December 17, 2013
This Christmas, Hallmark offers a new ornament for aviation buffs and fans of New England history. Here is the new addition to the Skys the Limit series of ornaments, the Gee Bee Super 1931 Sportster Model Z.
Aircraft pioneers the Granville Brothers established their fledging aircraft factory in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1929, turning an old farmer's field into a ramshackle airport near Liberty Street and St. James Avenue. Here they designed, built, and tested their remarkable planes, which broke speed records.
We'll have more on the Granville Brothers and their Gee Bee planes later on in the New Year, but for now, this flashy little tree ornament is a splendid souvenir of days gone by. It measures 3 and 3/8 inches wide wingspan, 2 inches long, and 1 inch high. It is a replica of the "City of Springfield" plane, the city's pride and namesake.
Have a look here at Hallmark's website for more information.
For a little more background on the Gee Bee, in a different way of telling it, here's my one-act play on the Granville Brothers and their airplane factory written as part of a project to educate Springfield school children on their city's history. It's called Soaring in the City of Springfield.