Tag Archives: aviation

- Mr. Christmas and his Flights of Fancy


The front-side view of the Christmas Bullet prior to its lethal first and only flight in 1918. (Image public domain/Wikipedia)

Former Local Records archivist Catherine OBrion was given the task of processing the chancery causes of Arlington (formerly Alexandria) County.  Perhaps the most interesting case that she discovered was a suit entitled Creed M. Fulton versus the Christmas Aeroplane Company, Inc. et al. The day after Christmas in 1910, Mr. Fulton, a lawyer from D.C., filed suit against the Christmas Aeroplane Company, the company’s founder William W. Christmas, and two other individuals—Lester C. McLeod and Thomas W. Buckey.  In the bill for the suit, William W. Christmas is described as the inventor of a heavier-than-air machine for the purpose of aerial navigation.  According to the document, Mr. Christmas informed the complainant that the aircraft “had been actually tried and was successful and that said machine had remained in the air for sometime.” 

In need of money to procure a patent and to build a practical machine for the purpose of “demonstrating the values and practicability of said invention,” all parties entered into an agreement on October 26, 1909, in Washington, D.C that would create the Christmas Aeroplane Company.  According to the agreement, money for the patent would be advanced and the others would aid William Christmas in raising funds to cover the actual cost of building a machine. After $1,200 was given for the patent, it became necessary for some of the parties to advance … read more »