Handwritten letter to R. C. Powell, Esq. and company brochure from Merriam's Aviation Bureau
dated 1939. The letter is handsigned on the back by F. Warren Merriam. The brochure has a picture of Captain F. Warren Merriam in a "Box-Kite" plane. These items are over 70 years old.
Back of letter
Frederick Warren Merriam was born Frederick Warren but changed his name by deed poll in 1901 to Merriam after being befriended and sponsored in his flying aspirations by an American, Olin Merriam, (of Webster-Merriam Dictionaries descent).
Frederick Warren Merriam started flying in 1912, and was the chief instructor for the Bristol and Colonial Aircraft Co.
The Bristol Boxkite was an improved version of the early Henri Farman biplane, built in 1910 by the British and Colonial Aeroplane Company (later to be known as the Bristol Aeroplane Company). It was also the first aeroplane to land upside down in Brooklands Sewerage farm - Flight Lieutenant Frederick Warren Merriam was the first to enact the scene from the film Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines.
Frederick Warren Merriam who died at Christ Church, Hants, on November 12, 1956 at the age of 76. He had
an interesting and distinguished link with the earliest days of
British aviation has been severed.
He was the first pilot in this
country to fly through cloud (in
a Bristol Box-kite, early in 1912);
later, as manager and chief
instructor of the Bristol Flying
School at Brooklands, he had
many pupils who subsequently
became famous, including Air
Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert
de la Ferte, A. Cdre. P. F.
M. Fellowes (who led the aerial
Houston Everest Expedition),
and Sub-Lt. R. A. J. .Warneford,
V.C., the first pilot to shoot
a Zeppelin down; and it was
only the toss of a coin at the
Royal Aero Club which decided
that Alcock, rather than
Merriam, should accompany
Whitten-Brown on the first
direct transatlantic flight.
At the outbreak of the 1914-18 war Merriam was the senior
flying instructor in Britain, with an outstanding reputation for
skill and patience, and he became chief instructor to the R.N.A.S.
at Hendon and later at Chingford. Subsequently he flew on antisubmarine
operations from Cattewater and Padstow, and after
the war did some pleasure-flying and tested the Saunders Kittiwake
flying-boat. In 1922 he founded Britain's first gliding
school, near Shanklin, Isle of Wight.
History from FlightGlobal Archive.