February 7, 1909


As for the "Gent" With Large Fam-
ily, He'll Have to Charter a Spe-
cial -- Franchise Through
the Clouds.
"Glad I'm Thin!"

If you are a large, fleshy man you had better begin to train down if you expect to obtain cheap rates on new passenger airships or aeroplanes which Henry Laurens Call is preparing to manufacture in Girard, Kas., to compete with the railroads. This is where the little fellow will have the advantage of the big one, because the passenger rates on the airships will be based on weight. The man who weighs 100 pounds will have to pay half as much as the man who weighs 200 pounds.

Space will have something to do with it, too. The woman who insists on wearing the Merry Widow hats will have to pay more than the woman who wears a traveling cap. When a woman buys a ticket on one of these airships she announces her weight and breadth to the ticket agent. She doesn't have to tell her age. If it appears from her size she is telling the truth she is given her ticket without being weighed.


After you travel on a certain line frequently the ticket agent will learn your weight without troubling to ask you. When the airship stations are perfected the passengers will stand on scales before the ticket windows so the agent may tell in an instant what your ticket will cost you.

Babies will not be carried free. The man with a wife weighing 200 pounds and nine or ten children will have to charter a special airship if he expects to obtain reasonable rates. It is said that the most objectionable thing about this airship navigation is that it will discourage the raising of large families. There may have to be some legislation along that line to protect the man with a large wife and family.

Henry Laurens Call is in Kansas City arranging to have a plant installed at Girard, Kas., for the construction of a large number of aeroplanes and airships of passenger carrying capacity. He not only is planning the construction of these airships for passengers and light freight traffic, but he is planning for the comfort and relief of passengers and the equipment in the matter of stations and other things necessary for a first class line. There must be a landing place, you know, as well as a place of ascension.

Mr. Call has incorporated a company for $20,000,000. It is feared by some that he may attempt to obtain a franchise on all the space between Kansas City and St. Louis, or Girard, Kas., and the balance of the United States.


It is only reasonable to suppose t hat when the airship line Mr. Call will establish begins to pay big dividends others will construct lines or airships to compete with his. It is a certainty that all the ships can't sail along the same route at the same height, because those Call airships are going to be air splitters and go so fast it will be necessary to ride backwards to breathe. Mr. Call may charter a certain line of space within 200 feet of the ground between Kansas city and St. Louis. Other lines established later will have to go above him. Just how high these airship lines finally will get no man can tell.

There will be dangers in airship navigation in cloudy weather, Mr. Call says. An airship going faster than you can think through low, dark clouds, might collide with another ship. There will be a crash like a thunder storm in the clouds above and then it will begin to rain human beings down below. To avoid these dangers it may be necessary to soar above the clouds.

"How are you going to tell when you get to St. Louis if you are above the clouds and can't see the earth," Mr. Call was asked yesterday.

"How does a ship tell when it reaches a port in a fog?" Mr. Call asked by way of explanation. "Just as simple as can be."

The question of relief ships and hospital ships is troubling Mr. Call. An airship may become disabled and light at the wrong place. If the roads are bad where it lights it must be carried back to a place where there are good roads to gain the necessary start, because an aeroplane must gain a speed of thirty miles an hour on the ground before it rises into the air. Just think about going thirty miles an hour in anything over some of these country roads!

To relieve this situation, Mr. Call plans to construct relief and hospital ships. It is only reasonable to suppose that if a ship falls several hundred feet through the air and lights heavily on the ground, somebody will be hurt. The injured will be loaded in the hospital airships and taken to the nearest hospital. At the same time a rope will be attached to the disabled airship and it will be sailed back through the air to the repair station.

All this is just as easy as building air castles.