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Alberto Santos Dumont's family documents

Alberto Santos Dumont's family documents

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Two documents show the involvement of the Santos Dumont family with uncle Alberto's dreams and efforts.

  • Two documents about the Santos Dumont family.
  • One in French (1908, Paris, with a small explanatory note from the former owner) and another in Portuguese (1940, Rio de Janeiro).
  • Postcard formats.
  • Excellent conditions.
  • Unique pieces.

We no longer need to introduce Santos Dumont. Everyone knows this brilliant Brazilian, a little French too, who contributed greatly to the invention of aviation and its machines that changed the world. But beyond what everyone knows, there are still many unknown details about the man, and also about those who accompanied him and helped him on this great adventure.

This set of two documents is interesting from this point of view:

The first document is a letter addressed to Santos Dumont's sister-in-law, “Madame Santos Dumont, 5 boulevard St Marcel, Paris 13”, in 1908. According to what was explained to me by the family, this postcard was sent by a contemporary of Alberto, who He worked with his wife (a seamstress) in the factory of Henri Lachambre (1846-1904), one of the first French balloon builders. The Lachambre company designed all of Santos Dumont's balloons and had as clients the American army and the first polar expeditions.

The French content of the letter is not especially interesting in itself - it talks about the weather and landscape. However, what draws attention is the image that shows Alberto in his seaplane and behind the scenes of Santos Dumont's exploits. In particular, all these more or less anonymous people, who helped him make his dreams come true.

The second The document is a small, rather enigmatic note, signed by Paulo Santos Dumont, a nephew of Alberto Santos-Dumont, the only son of Henrique and Amália. It comes from the archives of a prominent French lawyer and politician, Henry Torrès. In the middle of World War II, this note caught my attention because of the phrase:

“Following your advice, I will work hard to see if I can discover a device that prevents war.”

Too ambitious or totally naive? It is not known what device Paulo Santos Dumont is talking about. But it is interesting to note that this letter could have been written by the famous uncle, Alberto, also peaceful, and with that same spirit of innovation.

What few know is that the family continued Alberto's aeronautical adventure after his death in 1932. Henrique Uchoa Santos-Dumont, son of Luís, Alberto's other brother, founded the Empresa Aeronáutica Ypiranga (EAY) to build gliders and single engines. In 1942, EAY was acquired by Companhia Aeronáutica Paulista, which continued production of the EAY-201, renamed CAP-4 Paulistinha, one of the greatest classics of Brazilian aviation and still active today in flying clubs throughout Brazil.

These are two atypical documents, very interesting for collectors of Santos Dumont and aviation pioneers.

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