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Old photograph with dedication by Alberto Santos Dumont (1926)

Old photograph with dedication by Alberto Santos Dumont (1926)

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In 1926, the famous aviator Alberto Santos Dumont presents an acquaintance with his photograph and a dedication... ironic?

  • Old photograph of the famous aviator Alberto Santos Dumont previously pasted on a card with the following dedication.
  • In Portuguese.
  • Background card: 37 cm x 24 cm.
  • Photography: 17 cm x 23.5 cm.
  • Valmont sur Territtet, Switzerland.
  • 1926.
  • Average condition.

Val Mont sur Territtet (Suisse)
Mrs. J. Quadro Ges.,
the boy Paulo de Quadros
and his teacher in com
company of the great

Santos Dumont

From 1910 onwards, Alberto Santos Dumont (1873 - 1932), at the age of 37, saw his health deteriorate drastically due to the combination of overwork and a nervous breakdown, caused after realizing that aviation was becoming a common means of travel. of transportation and that the era of the pioneers was coming to an end. Furthermore, he had to admit that the Wright brothers were probably the first in the world to fly, especially as they came to exhibit in France.

From one day to the next, Santos Dumont announced that he was abandoning aviation, closed his "airport" and fired all his staff. From that moment on, despite several new inventions, such as the helicopter or seaplane or cable car, they were not as successful as expected. His existence was just a long physical and intellectual descent that took him, after remissions and stays in sanatoriums in France and Switzerland, until his suicide in São Paulo, 22 years later, in 1932, at the beginning of his sixtieth year.

According to Douglas Cavallari, expert and biographer of Alberto de Santos Dumont:

Firstly, thank you very much for getting in touch and congratulations on acquiring the photo, it is very rare. I have a photographic reproduction of a copy of this photo, which I located at the Dumont Museum, a city in the interior of São Paulo. But I had never seen an original.
The story of this photo is as follows: in the last years of his life (mainly between 1922 and 1932), Santos-Dumont was hospitalized several times in so-called “rehabilitation clinics”, which were nothing more than mental hospitals for rich people. One of these clinics (which still exists today) is Clinique Valmont, in Switzerland. The clinic is actually in Glion, Territet (with only one "t") is a neighboring village.

Regarding the dedication, it is probably a souvenir given to Brazilians that Santos Dumont must have met in the city during his stay at the clinic. Is the "big" used by Santos Dumont irony or the ego of the depressed aviator?

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