The inability of the Sears & Roebuck Company to understand the nature of early aviation was made manifest by the fact that the first pilots used to wear horse-back riding clothes before taking to the skies.
Attached, you will find two pages from the Sears Military Equipment Catalog of 1918, pictured are flight-clothing items offered for military or private purchase.
"At 11:01 a.m., (January 18, 1911) Eugene Ely (1886 - 1911), flying a Curtiss Pusher, landed on a specially built platform aboard the armored cruiser USS Pennsylvania at anchor in San Francisco Bay."
A black and white photograph of the event is provided.
An outraged opinion writer argued that the time had arrived for government to issue flying licenses to responsible pilots, while keeping the others grounded:
"...President Harding and thousands of spectators at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial are placed in jeopardy by an irresponsible, low flying aviator; and the lives of countless thousands of innocent spectators at the Yale Bowl and other stadiums are risked unnecessarily because the House of Representatives has so far failed to provide, as forty other nations have provided, for Government regulation of civil aviation"
As early as 1914, the dreamers who saw the possibilities in aviation began to envision non fixed-wing aircraft and ships that could carry them out to sea. The attached 1914 article concerns an unnamed ship being constructed at the Blyth Shipyard in England that is designed to transport "flying boats" at sea, picking-up and lowering to and from the sea by way of cranes. The article is illustrated.
It was during the Italian-Turkish War (1911 - 12) that aircraft began to play active rolls in support of military operations. This article is remarkable in that it reports that as early as 1912, aircraft was used not merely to aid in the observation of enemy troop movements but also to drop bombs.
"Captain Monte of the Italian army aeroplane corps has achieved the distinction of being the first airman wounded in battle while in the air with his machine."
In this letter from the artist Bernard Boutet de Monvel (1884 - 1949) the fellow explains thoroughly his thoughts and adventures as a bombardier in a Vosin bi-plane; experiences which contrast greatly with his days in the trenches and he writes well on the feelings of loneliness that an aviator can experience at 2000 feet.
For those who are interested in learning about the living conditions and daily life of World War One pilot officers this article can only help you.