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Autograph by Alberto Santos Dumont (1916)

Autograph by Alberto Santos Dumont (1916)

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A rare signature of a. Santos=Dumont in São Paulo.

Autograph by Alberto Santos Dumont. A leaf. 12 cm x 10 cm. São Paulo, September 20, 1916. Good condition. Single piece.

From May 1916, in the midst of World War I, Santos Dumont was in Brazil and hardly flew anymore. In fact, his state of health changed drastically through the conjunction of overwork, a nervous breakdown and the onset of an irreversible disease, probably multiple sclerosis.

He traveled to Foz de Iguaçu to visit the falls, Paraná and São Paulo, before arriving in Rio de Janeiro, where he had a hangar built and donated to Aeroclube Brasileiro on Praia da Saudade (today Praia Vermelha in Urca), with the aim of serving hydroaviation. Incidentally, it was in this type of aircraft that he flew the only time on Brazilian soil in early 1917.

From that year of 1916 and the Great War, I saw very few autograph documents by Santos Dumont, this is one of them. Furthermore, this signature is one of the most unusual with that “a” from Alberto and the = between Santos and Dumont.

Do you know where this = comes from? To show his deep attachment to France, where he lived for many years, he wrote his double name, in the Portuguese or Brazilian fashion (first the mother's name then the father's), not with a single hyphen, but with a double sign to indicate that he regarded these two countries as his two homelands on an equal footing.

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