Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Biographical Data and Photographs of Clifford B. Harmon Who Developed Pelhamwood

In 1909, Clifford B. Harmon & Co. bought from the Winyah Park Realty Company a one-hundred acre tract of land just north of the Pelham train station. The company began development of a lovely residential neighborhood that it named "Pelhamwood".

Periodically I have written about Clifford B. Harmon and Pelhamwood. For examples, see:

Tue., July 10, 2007: An Early Event in the History of Pelhamwood.

Thu., June 21, 2007: Information About "Aeronautic" Exploits of Clifford B. Harmon Who Developed Pelhamwood in Pelham.

Thu. August 10, 2006: The New Development of Pelhamwood Gets Approval for its Proposed Sewage System in 1912.

Tue., November 15, 2005: Plaque Dedicated at the Historic Pelhamwood Clock Tower.

Mon., September 12, 2005: Pelhamwood Association Celebrated its 30th Anniversary in 1942.

Thu., May 12, 2005: Clifford B. Harmon, Developer of Pelhamwood.

Bell, Blake A., The Early Development of Pelhamwood, The Pelham Weekly, Vol. XIII, No. 37, Sep. 17, 2004, p. 12, col. 2.

Clifford B. Harmon was a noted real estate developer and a famous amateur aviation pioneer known throughout the United States. Today's Historic Pelham Blog posting provides brief biographical data about Clifford B. Harmon published in 1910 and provides two photographs of him from the American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress.


CLIFFORD B. HARMON has the double distinction of being not only the foremost amateur aviator of America, but his feats have also at times excelled those of the professional airmen. On July 2, 1910, [Page 401 / Page 402] Mr. Harmon made a continuous flight of more than 2 hours, breaking all American records, and this he held for several months.

Mr. Harmon's first experience in the air was as a balloonist, and in this capacity he held the duration record of 48 hours 26 minutes for a year. On this same voyage, at the St. Louis Centennial, he made a new record in America for altitude attained, 24,400 feet.

At the Los Angeles aviation meet, in January, 1910, where he went with his balloon New York, he met Paulhan, and became his pupil. At that meet Paulhan made a new world's record for altitude with a Farman biplane, and this machine Mr. Harmon bought, and brought to Mineola, L. I., where he practised assiduously, crowning his minor achievements by flying from there across Long Island Sound to Greenwich, Conn.

At the Boston-Harvard aviation meet, in September, 1910, Mr. Harmon won every prize offered to amateur contestants."

Source: Ferris, Richard, How It Flies or, The Conquest of the Air The Story of Man's Endeavors to Fly and of the Inventions by Which He Has Succeeded, pp. 401-02 (NY, NY: Thomas Nelson and Sons 1910).

Additionally, below are two photographs that show Clifford B. Harmon. Both are from the American Memory Collection maintained by the Library of Congress. The first shows Clifford Harmon with Charlie Chaplin and John Philip Sousa. The second shows Clifford Harmon with Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Bishop.

Finally, the photograph that appears immediately below shows famed early aviator Claude Grahame-White with Clifford B. Harmon making adjustments to Harmon's famous Farman biplane. The source of the photograph is listed immediately below it.

Source: Grahame-White, Claude, The Story of the Aeroplane, page facing p. 222 (Boston, MA: Small, Maynard and Company 1911).

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