To Roy, or Not to Roy?

mtapmovieblog 1b Altadena 1908
This 1908 Tournament of Roses float really floats! Or at least it appears to.

Perhaps reflecting the nation’s fascination with the birth of flight, this dirigible’s controlled flight along the parade route might also pay tribute to Roy Knabenshue. Knabenshue was a famous dirigible pilot oin the early 20th century. In 1905 he won a flying race from Los Angeles to Pasadena. In 1909, he even launched his dirigible from Pasadena’s Tournament Park.

Roy was born in Ohio in 1875, and in 1905 he became the first person to pilot a dirigible over New York City. In 1909, he settled in southern California’s mild climate to establish his own flight company. When airplanes began to take over from “airships” as early as 1910, the Wright Brothers hired Roy to organize flight exhibitions for the new pilots the Wrights were training.

Later in life Mr. Knabenshue settled in Temple City. Did he attend the Tournament of Roses Parade in those days? One never knows. It wasn’t as easy to get from TC to Pasadena in those days as it is now. He died in Temple City in 1960.

Whether or not this Tournament float is a tribute to Roy is hard to say. What do you think? Do you know? Share your thoughts (fact, fiction, links!) in the comments.

MTAP wants to know: do we pronounce the K in Knabenshue?


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