William C. Robinson came to live in Grinnell,
at the age of 12, in 1896. He was a handyman,
tinkerer, and bicycle repairman who designed and
built his own flying machine. In 1911, with
the help of Charles Hink, Robinson constructed
a 60 horse power radial motor for his monoplane.
In 1914 he set a record for non-stop flight,
carrying mail from Des Moines to Kentland, Indiana.
Robinson perished, while flying his biplane, attempting
to set an altitude record on March 11, 1916.
Read the full story from Grinnell
-A Century of Progress: 1854-1954 published
by the Grinnell Herald-Register, 1954.
View the entire (38 item) photograph collection
Historical Collections as part of the Iowa
Heritage Collections database.