Chanute, Octave, 1832-1910

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1832-02-18
Death 1910-11-23
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

Civil engineer and aviation pioneer.

From the description of Octave Chanute papers, 1807-1955 (bulk 1860-1910). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 70980023

A native of Paris, Chanute emigrated from France to the U.S. with his parents in 1838. He worked as an engineer, primarily in constructing railroads and railroad bridges, but is best remembered as a pioneer in aerial navigation and glider flight, and wrote two influential books on flight.

From the description of Papers, 1904. (Indiana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 38266082

American civil engineer and noted aerial navigator. Pioneer in the engineering problems of flight.

From the description of Letter, 1892. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 122608774

Biographical Note

  • 1832, Feb. 18: Born, Paris, France
  • 1838: Immigrated with parents to the United States
  • 1849: Began training as a railroad civil engineer
  • 1853 - 1863 : Civil engineer, various Western railroads
  • 1857: Married Annie James
  • 1863 - 1867 : Chief engineer, Chicago & Alton Railroad
  • 1867 - 1868 : Planned and superintended construction of the first bridge across the Missouri River
  • 1867 - 1873 : Chief engineer of several railroads in Kansas
  • 1873 - 1883 : Chief engineer, Erie Railroad; consultant on construction of iron railroad bridges
  • 1889: Began study of aerodynamic theory
  • 1893: President, Chicago Tie Preserving Co.
  • 1894: Published Progress in Flying Machines (New York: The American Engineer and Railroad Journal. 308 pp.)
  • 1896 - 1897 : Experimented with gliders and designed biplane glider of exceptional stability
  • 1901: Visited camp of Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk, N.C., to observe and assist in glider experiments
  • 1910, Nov. 23: Died, Chicago, Ill.

From the guide to the Octave Chanute Papers, 1807-1955, (bulk 1860-1910), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

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Subjects:

  • Balloons
  • Bridges--Missouri River
  • Spanish--American War, 1898
  • Engines
  • Railroads, Elevated
  • Aeronautics--History--Sources
  • Flight
  • Railroads, Elevated--New York (State)--New York
  • Air pilots--Correspondence
  • Railroad engineering
  • Navigation (Aeronautics)
  • Flight--History
  • Railroad ties
  • Stockyards--Illinois--Chicago
  • Kites
  • Aerodynamics
  • Stockyards
  • Railroads
  • Railroads--Kansas--Abilene
  • Aeronautics
  • Aeronautics, Military
  • Diesel motor
  • Railroads--Illinois--Chicago
  • Gliders (Aeronautics)
  • Steam engines
  • Airships
  • Aeronautics--Societies, etc
  • Bridges
  • Railroads--Design and construction
  • Internal combustion engines, Spark ignition
  • Bridges--Design and construction
  • Aeronautical engineers--Correspondence
  • Civil engineering

Occupations:

  • Photographers
  • Civil engineers
  • Aircraft pilots
  • Compilers
  • Aviators
  • Collector

Places:

  • Missouri River (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • Kansas--Abilene (as recorded)
  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • New York (State)--New York (as recorded)