116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Capt. Jack Dallas wowed onlookers when he showed up with his Stroebel airship during the 1907 Cedar Rapids Carnival.
The airship used a large bag filled with hydrogen gas to float.
Dallas — called an aeronaut — traveled to state fairs with the airship, navigating its bamboo framework to operate the engine and using sandbags to help control the height of the flight.
When it was time to come down, he would cut the engine, and an assistant on the ground would use a rope to land the airship where it had taken off.
When the carnival opened Sept. 30, rain and strong winds prevented any tricks, but Dallas kept the airship moving back and forth over the carnival grounds for an hour.
As the weather improved, so did the air show.
On Oct. 6, Dallas lifted off around 10 a.m. and headed for the city’s business district. He circled the downtown and landed back at the carnival grounds.
The flight so excited Cedar Rapidians that the telephone lines were jammed and the switchboard’s main fuses blew out.
Tara Templeman is curator at The History Center. Comments: firstname.lastname@example.org