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-   -   FALCON PROPELLER WWI MANUFACTURING SOURCE in JAMESTOWN NY Post 1 of 2 (http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/showthread.php?t=3594)

Tony Godonis 10-31-2016 02:55 PM

6 Attachment(s)
Posting 1 of 2

The “Falcon Jamestown NY” decals on wooden propellers from the WWI era indicate the Falcon propeller trademark, not a Falcon Propeller Co, and were made in Jamestown, NY. The propellers were sold by Jamestown Propeller Co and manufactured by Jamestown Mantel Co, Falconer, NY (a northern suburb of Jamestown, NY) in 1918 and 1919. The businessmen of Jamestown Mantel Co formed the Jamestown Propeller Co when they received a large military/government order in March 1918 to supplement the supply for propellers for emergency demand of the WWI effort. Jamestown Propeller advertised Falcon Propellers from June 15, 1918 to August 15, 1918 in those dated issues of Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering Magazine published semi-monthly by The Gardner, Moffit Co, Inc, New York. Jamestown Propeller Co applied for trademark copyright patent for “Falcon Propeller” on August 1, 1918, and was approved with patent #124,391 on February 11,1919. It is suggested they manufactured propellers only to drawings and specifications supplied in these government/military contracts. It is suggested that the manufacture of Falcon propellers ended in 1919, when WWI demands ended. It is suggested that Jamestown Mantel had one of the largest capacities of the finest wood workers and finishers in the US and was very well suited to quickly make propellers against contracted specifications (and did indeed make a large quantity as the Forum eludes to due to their capacity). Jamestown Mantel also made, besides mantels, many assorted fine wood cabinets of many styles per major contracts to assorted major companies like Edison, RCA, and other phonograph and radio manufacturers for newly invented and designed products. It is suggested that Jamestown Mantel had only minimal, or no, product design engineering/design/testing capabilities for self-development of their own products, especially including propellers that required the highest of these standards. Also, into the 1920’s, propeller design was moving into metal. It is suggested that the only reason for Jamestown Mantel to possibly continue making propellers, would be by sub-contracting to private propeller and aircraft companies, who selected to make propellers themselves for quality control and for the added profit. Jamestown Mantel Co existed in Falconer NY from 1892 until 1932, closing due to the depression.

The incentive for researching this subject is for me to obtain more information about an HS-2L flying boat wooden propeller that I inherited from my father. It has two “Falcon” and “Jamestown NY” decals with Falcons images. To the level of my limited familiarity with the Forum, I noticed that the Wooden Propeller Website and Forum did not have firm information about the manufacturer of Falcon Propellers. If the Forum already has this information, I apologize for the duplication.

This enclosed information is from extensive Google search into old records and will have all information verified in additional postings with pictorial copies and resources. The Fenton History center in Jamestown also provided some information. The comments noted as "suggested", that are included, are my assumptions and will be noted as such. They are based on a lifelong career in helicopters, assorted manufacturing and distribution, and general business.

It is suggested that in late 1917 and early 1918, the US military had a massive effort to procure and stockpile WWI military materials to assure the win in WWI. One such item was wooden, hand carved, propellers for army airplanes and navy flying boats. These propellers probably had a limited life in operation and needed replacements, along with new supply to a massive manufacturing effort adding many new assorted aircraft.

It is suggested that existing wooden propeller manufacturing capacity around the US couldn’t fulfill the immediate WWI demands, and that new highly skilled resources with existing large capacity were immediately needed. Jamestown NY was the fine-finished furniture and hand carved mantle manufacturing capital of the world at that time and had those sought skills and existing resources. It is suggested that military experts visited Jamestown NY and spoke with numerous businessmen. Or maybe the businessmen contacted the military knowing that resources were short.

One group of three businessmen were selected to create a new resource for hand carved wooden propellers. They then created a new company. The three gentlemen were Fred J Mauer (from Union NY), Alfred L Caflisch (from Union NY), and Howard W Alling (from Jamestown NY). They incorporated, in the state of New York, Jamestown Propeller Company, Falconer, NY (9 West 18th St) on March 15, 1918 with an investment of $30,000 for new company stock that guaranteed the business integrity for supplying propellers for aircraft and aeroplanes. Falconer NY is a northern suburb of Jamestown NY. It had ideal road, water, and rail transportation connections. Union is a nearby city. Jamestown Propeller received a large military order for many assorted style propellers, both two and four bladed, as indicated in their advertisements indication being “contractors to the US Government”.

It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller Co quickly integrated the new drawings and specs, the new technology into existing manufacturing processes, and trained the skilled craftsman. It is suggested they or the military selected the trademark name “Falcon” for all of their propellers based on the suburb of Falconer and on the awesome Falcon bird representing our fighting aircraft. It is suggested that they started shipping accepted propellers in June 1918.

In the June 15, 1918 edition of Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering, published semi-monthly by The Gardner, Moffit Co, Inc, NY, Jamestown Propeller Co placed its first advertisement for propellers. The ad states “Falcon Propellers”, “Jamestown Propeller Company” “Jamestown NY USA”, and “Contractors to the US Government”. It shows a four bladed propeller, like an ”X”. This magazine also has a listing of aircraft suppliers and Jamestown Propeller Co was first included in this listing in this issue. This same advertisement was then in the issues dated July 1, 1918, July 15, 1918, August 1, 1918, and August 15, 1918. It never appeared again in any further issues, or in any other advertising media searchable from Google or local historical centers and museums.

Jamestown Propeller Co was in the list of military suppliers in the magazine until the end of 1918, when the listing stopped at the end of WWI. It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller continued manufacturing propellers at least into early 1919 for a continuing demand for additional aircraft for the militaries and governments of the US and other worldwide nations. The Curtiss HS2L flying boat, for instance, was sold all over the world, including many to Canada as their bush plane to explore the outback country into the mid/late 1920’s. It is suggested that the business was sufficient and Jamestown Propeller Co did not need to advertise any further and did continue to manufacture against previously supplied designs for existing designed aircraft still being manufactured and used.

On August 1, 1918, Jamestown Propeller filed for Patent Copyright for the trademark with an image of a Falcon bird with the name “Falcon” over the bird. This application was published on October 18, 1918. The Trademark Patent #124,391 was issued on February 11, 1919. The patent indicates that the trademark had been in continuous use since June 15, 1918. The post office address of Jamestown Propeller is listed as Jamestown Propeller Company, PO Box 474, Jamestown, NY (not a street address). The patent reads that “the trademark was to be applied to the product by printing preferably by transfer or decalcomania to the wood of the product”. The Patent shows Howard L Alling as the President and Treasurer of Jamestown Propeller Co, and as the requester of the trademark application. It is suggested that the government/military specified all markings on the propellers for “traceability”.

Jamestown Propeller was still in existence and was an exhibitor in the US Aeronautical Exhibition from March 1 to 15, 1919. It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller did not have any real engineering development capacity for competitively advancing propeller design, and remained as a skilled wood working company. It is suggested that propeller demand greatly diminished in further years and other propeller companies with aeronautical engineering abilities provided their own new design patents to outdate the Jamestown Propeller designs. Then they provided their own manufacturing capacity to maximize their business. It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller Co ended supplying propellers in 1920. No other reference to Propellers is found after that date time. However, it is suggested that, with their large capacity, they did indeed manufacture a large quantity of propellers during their “run”.

It is suggested that the military eventually sold-off the over supply of propellers in the early/mid 1920’s. Being of a very ornate nature and result of winning WWI, these propellers probably had a high appeal as they do today and weren’t burnt. The aircraft industry went through such rapid change in the 1920’s, that airplane models didn’t last very long with new ones needing new designs of propellers, obsoleting the existing.

the next posting 2 of 2 will have the remainder of the narrative

Tony Godonis 10-31-2016 03:01 PM

Posting 2 of 2


No direct connection was found connecting the newly formed Jamestown Propeller Co in March 1918 to an existing manufacturing source with large capacity. However, a very strong correlation can be concluded from a local Jamestown newspaper article supplied from a researcher at the Fenton History Center in Jamestown, NY, and several other similar articles. This article describes a million dollar contract from the Edison Company of New Jersey to expand and manufacture one style ornate cabinet at 70 per day. The cabinet was 2’-6” square and 4’ high. The highly ornate veneer cabinets would house a motor and playing instrument. The contract was given to Jamestown Mantel Company of Falconer. As per other references, the contract was placed Sept 1917. It is suggested that per this era of time, these cabinets are for a new Edison motorized victrola cabinets. The article does list the Jamestown Mantel Co officers as Howard W Alling, president and treasurer and F J Mauer, Secretary. The Directors are H F Alling, F J Mauer, A L Calfisch, I L Thrasher, and F G Mohjeau. Other references list the same. These businessmen are the same as those incorporating the Jamestown Propeller Co.

The Edison contract required Jamestown Mantel to greatly expand manufacturing capacity. The original plant was north of Main Street near the New York Central Line in Falconer. Expansion was planned to exceed 70,000 sq ft. Jamestown Mantel was to also incorporate extensive modern machinery for capacity. Extremely highly skilled finishing work was needed for the high quality finish. Jamestown Mantle was formed in 1892. By 1896, they had 20 workers. By the early 1900’s, Jamestown Mantel was also producing bar and interior furniture. It is suggested that they continued to grow by Sept 1917, when the Edison contract major expansion occurred.

The large capacity and skill level of Jamestown Mantel Co would then be ideal for selection by the military for hand carved propellers with tight tolerances and finish. It is suggested that Jamestown Propeller Co primarily used the resources of Jamestown Mantel with offices located at the same facility. There are other references indicating Jamestown Mantel continued expanding operations into the 1920’s to make fine cabinets for Edison, RCA, and other newly formed radio manufacturers.

No direct reference or newspaper articles, to date, has been found indicating Jamestown Mantle forming the new company Jamestown Propeller or that they received a large military or government contract in early 1918.

There is a Jamestown Furniture History book that shows pictures of Jamestown Mantel Co manufacturing four and two blade mahogany propellers for WWI. It also indicates that Jamestown Mantel Company was forced to close in the early 1930’s, 1932 is suggested from other reference, along with many other small furniture operations, due to the depression.

The researcher from Fenton History Center replied that there were at least two other Jamestown/Falconer companies making propellers. These are Munson and Johnson Company and Maddox Table. There was also a manufacturer of several models of pantograph style, propeller rough shaping, machinery and assorted other finishing machinery. This is Curtis Machinery Corp located at 1300-1340 East 2nd Street, Jamestown, NY. They had an advertisement in the Aviation and Aeronautical Engineering magazine showing 4 propellers being shaped at once from one master finished propeller. Curtis is not the Glenn Hammond Curtiss, airplane designer and manufacturer, of Hammondsport NY. It is suggested that Curtis is a local Falconer developer and producer of manufacturing machinery sold for wood making and finishing applications. There is another reference about Curtis Machinery also manufacturing propellers. No connection of these other possible manufacturers of propellers could be made to Jamestown Propeller Co or Jamestown Mantel Co, though it is suggested they could have been sub-contractors to Jamestown Propeller. There are no wooden propellers with labeling from any other of these possible manufacturers.

As mentioned earlier, all searched references will be published as pictures in later additional postings for copies and resources.

If these posts duplicate previous information about the subject, I apologize for the duplication.

Dbahnson 10-31-2016 08:20 PM


Originally Posted by Tony Godonis (Post 14398)

If these posts duplicate previous information about the subject, I apologize for the duplication.

Wow! Fabulous post and very much appreciated. I don't think it duplicates much if any, of what has previously been posted here.

There is so little know about many of these older manufacturers. My research on Falcon propellers was limited to contacting the Chamber of Congress and a library in Jamestown, but I turned up nothing.

Many thanks for your efforts!

(P.S. I took the liberty of moving your second post to follow the first one, but if you'd like them as separate topics I can change them back.)

Tony Godonis 10-31-2016 08:27 PM

Being a new-bee to the forum, I'll certainly agree with whatever you decide best fits the normal agenda. I do have a lot of collateral back-up jpeg's. Should I post them?

Dbahnson 10-31-2016 08:52 PM

Please do!

(If you need help with that let me know.)

I think that most of the HS-2L props I've seen from Falcon were actually two-bladed props that fit together to make a 4 blade combination. The all were stamped with "SE 50_ _" where the two dashes were different depending on the pitch. In those cases, the hub thickness was under 4 inches to fit them both in a roughly 7 plus inch hub.

You've likely already seen this page.

Tony Godonis 10-31-2016 11:54 PM

Yes I have seen the page. My HS-2L propeller has the extra dowel alignment hole on one side of the hub hole pattern to set the 90 degree shift with its other hand mating propeller. I will post the collateral information about my postings. Thanks for the feedback.

Tony Godonis 11-01-2016 12:00 AM

I have a lot of pictures of HS-2L flying boats. I'll go through them for the ones without engine running and see if any have what looks to be a four bladed propeller. I didn't pay attention to this on my pictures. Many do show the two blade pair to make four blades. I do have a nice picture of a four blade on some other airplane. I'l send that later, too.

Dbahnson 11-01-2016 07:57 AM

1 Attachment(s)
There's a nice HS2L at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.


I think I may have taken some pictures of the propeller on it when I visited there several times in the past.


Tony Godonis 11-01-2016 12:03 PM

6 Attachment(s)
I agree about the HS-2L in the Canadian Air Museum having two propellers stacked. I attached another picture of that HS-2L from a different perspective. And most of my HS-2L pictures, clearly showing blades, indicate the very distinctive curl of the blade of the normal HS-2L propeller. I also attached five other pictures showing HS-2L propellers with four, straight looking style, blades, versus the curl style, or side views showing a single hub propeller, indicating a single propeller. The HS-2L used the much higher horsepower Liberty V-12 engine at 350 HP, that would seem to require four blades to transfer the horsepower to four blades of traction. This is especially true because engine top RPM at the time was still much slower than later era engines, and this RPM would have required a longer two bladed propeller like the tractor style planes with propeller on front of a longer length. The four bladed configuration was the largest length to still fit the pusher style HS-2L with engine above the fuselage. I would make an assumption that the later model of the HS-1L or early models of the HS-2L, for the Liberty engine, may have started with a single, four bladed, one piece propellers, for prototyping and with the first engines having shorter bolts on the drive hub. However, knowing the Curtiss airplane design philosophy of keeping manufacturing costs, shipping cost, and storage costs as low as possible, they switched to stacking two 2-bladed propellers together and had the engine with longer hub bolts. Manufacturing cost would be less, much less mahogany wood would be used, shipping would take less space, and storage would take less space. The HS-2L was shipped all over the world in pieces and then assembled by the buyer. I have a PDF of the HS-1L assembly instructions. And if a blade was damaged, only one 2-bladed propeller would need to be replaced, versus the whole propeller. I attached five other pictures indicating a single propeller on the HS-2L. I tried a prior post that doesn't look like it went. So I posted this one. If the earlier post went, I'll delete it. Also this posting has pictures with reduced file size. Are there pictures of four bladed propellers and reference to the respective airplane in the forum files? I know there were a couple tractor style airplanes using four bladed propellers, which are easy to see with the propeller in the front. And I think the single, two bladed, propellers on the tractor style planes had a longer length to use the Liberty horsepower a the slower RPM. The HS-1L used a Curtiss 200 HP engine. I cannot find any info or pictures of it, since it didn't last that long and is overwhelmed with HS-2L information. I would suggest that the HS-1L used one, single bladed, propeller for the Curtiss engine. The HS-1L was designed right before WWI and the Navy wanted a flying boat with heavier load capacity, which required longer wings and higher horsepower engines. To save precious time for the war effort with a whole redesign, modifications were made to the HS-1L fuselage and wings, and the almost twice the horsepower engine was put into the same engine position. Because of requiring to use the same engine mounting position to the fuselage, the same length blade was required as the HS-1L. To use the added horsepower, while still at the slower RPM, four blades were required and provide the extra push for the modified HS-1L design. And hence, the rest of the explanation already made. And I'd be willing to bet that the pictures I show of a one hub looking configuration were really shown for a HS-1L style. The following is a cut and paste from Wikipedia. "The HS-1L and -2L were built in vast quantities: 675 by Curtiss themselves, and nearly as many again by various contractors that included L-W-F (250), Standard (80), Gallaudet Aircraft Company (60), Boeing (25) and Loughead (2). A further 25 were assembled by the US Navy from spare parts postwar....Surplus HSs were also widely exported. Amongst Military users was Brazil, who received six aircraft in 1918.[15] Two HS-2Ls were used in an attempt to bomb the rebel held Forte de Copacabana during the 1922 Tenente revolt.[12] Many were used in Canada as the first bush plane. One survives in the Canada Aviation Museum in Ottawa after being rescued from a Quebec lake." Another notes was just found oat the FlyingMachines.ru website. "HS-1 - A traditional pusher flying-boat with 200 hp Curtiss V-X-3 engine driving a three-blade propeller, converted from the unsuccessful H-14 airframe. On 21 October, 1917, the HS-1 prototype was the test bed for the first flight of the US Government's new 360 hp twelve-cylinder Liberty engine and was later converted to HS-1L standard."

Tony Godonis 11-01-2016 08:21 PM

4 Attachment(s)
Aviation Magazine that listed Jamestown Propeller as a propeller manufacturer and advertiser where the Falcon Propeller was advertised in 1918.

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