July 9 Birthday: Cromwell Dixon, inventor. CROMWELL DIXON’S SKY CYCLE

Cromwell Dixon, inventor
July 9, 1892 – 10-2-1911

CROMWELL DIXON’S SKY-CYCLE (Putnam, 2009) by John Abbott Nez

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-5–In 1907, a 14-year-old boy named Cromwell Dixon took to
the sky in a flying bicycle that he designed and built with the help of
his mother. Nez re-creates his amazing feat in this lively account
filled with informative and fascinating images. Despite disappointment
(an early prototype caught fire) and mistakes (a too-heavy vehicle), the
teen persevered. He eventually made a glorious showing in his flying
bicycle, soaring above the highest buildings in his hometown of
Columbus, OH. Later that year, Dixon entered his Sky-Cycle in the St.
Louis Airship Carnival, taking home a prize. The time period is depicted
with often-amusing illustrations that exude an old-fashioned flair
while also inviting inspection. A one-page biography tells of Dixon’s
lifelong endeavors. Young inventors as well as aviation aficionados will
be intrigued, but this fictionalized account is also a great example of
the importance of determination, derring-do, and imagination.–Barbara Elleman, Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, MA