Kerry Rodgers has a nice article about an interesting "short snorter" in Bank Note Reporter. Here's an excerpt.
Serendipity struck short snorter buff Tom Sparks in April. He was approached by Marilyn Wheeler, daughter of late Florida coin dealer Clifford H. Benjamin, Sr. She had inherited a snorter from her dad in the shape of a Series 1928A Silver Certificate. It was not one from World War II. Rather, it was signed by some heavy hitting U.S. aviation pioneers, both men and women—and an Australian.
Marilyn stumbled over her snorter recently. She recalls her mother giving her the note in its plastic case when the two were sorting dad’s possessions after his death in 2004. She popped it in a drawer where it remained until its rediscovery. This prompted her to call in the cavalry in the shape of Tom Sparks.
The signatories are: Wiley Post, Harold Gatty, Tex Rankin, [aborted Harold Gatty signature], Dorothy Hester, Swanee Taylor, Ruth R. Nichols, Fay Gillis, Mrs Freddie Lund, Frances Harrell, Ken Hunter, Al Williams, Gil Ervin, ?H.C. Martins?, and Bill Turner.
All signatures have been verified by Randy Thern of Signatures in Time. At least 11 were top pilots and one a superb navigator. The backgrounds of two could not be verified.
The signature of Frances Harrell places an upper date on the snorter’s age. Frances was killed during the Cleveland Air Races on Aug. 5, 1934.
This age limit gives the Benjamin-Wheeler snorter an important place in snorter history. It links the use of snorters in World War II with their origins among Alaskan Bush Pilots of the 1920s.
It is also a rarity. Few snorters have surfaced from outside Alaska prior to World War II. Yet, presumably, the tradition spread to other sectors of North America’s fledgling aviation industry. Of their nature pioneering pilots were highly mobile. Some bush pilots tried their hands at barnstorming. Some barnstormers went bush.
To read the complete article, see:
Post Leads Names on Short Snorter
Wayne Homren, Editor
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