Category Archives: Inventors & Innovators

R. W. (Dick) Foote

Navy veteran of WWII, local and international businessman, aviator, and inventor, R. W. (Dick) Foote was born in Providence in 1919. Foote’s successful business career followed his service as a Naval Aviator and test pilot during World War II. He was also instrumental in the development of the first “anti-blackout” or “pressure suit”, the forerunner […]

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Edson Fessenden Gallaudet

Edson Fessenden Gallaudet  (1871-1945), Aviation Pioneer/Aircraft Manufacturer In 1898, four years before the Wright Brothers, he constructed and flew a glider, now in the Smithsonian, which embodied the principle of the warping wing.  In 1911 he learned to fly at the Wright school, earning US pilot’s license #32 and a similarly low number in France.  […]

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Edward Albert Johnson

Edward Albert Johnson (1885-1949) was born in Newport, RI in January of 1885. He developed an interest in aeronautics and spent May-October, 1915, at the Curtiss school in Buffalo. He first soloed in 1915 and received Pilot License No. 32. He joined the Curtiss Aeroplane Company and became its representative in England. After the US […]

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Pasco “Pat” Melone

Cranston native Pasco “Pat” Melone (1913-2007) was an accomplished flight instructor, aerial photographer, aerial banner tower, and aerial acrobat. Called “Rhode Island’s version of Waldo Pepper”, he soloed at the old Buttonwoods airport at the age of 17 after less than 7 hours of dual flight time. According to his family, he was told “not […]

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