What's better than motorcycles and balloons?

Answer:  Many things depending on who you are!  Maybe its ice cream, or bungee jumping, or quiet walks on the beach, or doing crossword puzzles in the bathroom.  But if you were Albert Bond Lambert, the answer to that question would be airplanes!  Albert loved adventure from his youth on.  He first satisfied his thirst for adventure with motorcycling.  That gave way to ballooning. Once the Wright Bros proved the viability of the fixed wing aircraft, Albert was immediately intrigued.  He took lessons and bought himself a Wright brothers built aircraft.  Not only did this become a hobby of his, but as a business man he could see how airplanes were going to change the world.  Thus (yes...i said thus) he became a major investor in aviation and aviation infrastructure.  I hear he also still really enjoyed doing crossword puzzles in the bathroom though.  Some old hobby's are hard to let go.

The illustration below is for the Notable Missourian book on Albert Bond Lambert.  This book was written by Christopher Lynch and published by Truman State University Press.

Albert flying a Wright Model B

Albert flying a Wright Model B



Balloony!

Here is another  illustration for the Notable Missourian book on Albert Bond Lambert, written by Christopher Lynch and published by Truman State University Press.

Before there were airplanes or dirigibles, balloons were the way to experience flying.  The problem with flying a balloon is you're totally at the mercy of the air.  You go where the wind blows you.  Of course this made it exciting too. Albert Bond Lambert, ever the adventurer, spent much of his time flying and racing balloons.  In fact some people thought he spent so much time with his gas filled hobby that he was neglecting his job as a city counsilman. 

The more I think about it, "balloon race" is a bit of a misnomer as it was more about distance then getting somewhere first. How far would they go?  Well, one time Albert and his fellow aeronaut H.E. Honeywell packed two fried chickens, twelve sandwiches, water and a thermos of coffee....so they clearly planned to be aloft for awhile. They landed almost 20 hours after takeoff in Tiger, Georgia - 450 miles away from where they started in St Louis.

Albert Bond Lambert

Here are the first two illustrations for the Notable Missourian book on Albert Bond Lambert. The Notable Missourian books are published by Truman State University Press. This book (on Albert Bond Lambert) was written by Christopher Lynch.

Albert Bond Lambert was an Olympic golfer, an adventurer, and perhaps most importantly a strong supporter and benefactor to early aviation. Here are the first two chapter header illustrations showing young Albert, One shows him as a young golfer (He was on the U.S. olympic team) and the other shows Albert riding through France on an early motorcycle. Albert loved motorcylces, but that love was soon replaced by aviation.

Albert riding an early motorcycle through the french countryside

Albert riding an early motorcycle through the french countryside

rough sketch

rough sketch

rough sketch   

rough sketch