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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cheston Eshelman, Character

Eshelman Flying Flounder NX28993 (1942)

From Hot Wheels in the Baltimore City Paper:

By Brennen Jensen | Posted 11/14/2001

    In June 1939, a 22-year-old Pennsylvania man packed some sandwiches, donned a jaunty white neck scarf, rented a two-seater airplane in Camden, N.J., and flew off eastward. Destination: the planet Mars.
    Well, that's what Cheston Eshelman told the skipper of the fishing trawler who, hours later, pulled him out of the Atlantic, minutes before Eshelman's aircraft sunk forever beneath the waves. The neophyte flyer, on only his second solo trip, maintained that the red planet was his goal--even after the truculent plane owners had him tossed in jail for larceny. A Sun article of the day even quoted the plucky pilot as saying he brought along a pistol "because the Martians were supposed to be tough guys."
    Eshelman missed Mars by tens of millions of miles, but a year or so later he successfully made it to Baltimore and began a decade-spanning manufacturing career. The would-be astronaut became a footloose inventor and captain of an industry of his own creation: the mail-order car.
Cheston was a contemporary of my father. They were born and died within a year of each other. I don't know as they ever met, but like Cheston, my dad sure had his own big ideas. Via Posthip Scott. Read the whole story here.

Update September 2015. Replaced missing video and added caption.

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