Michael Garland: Horace Short
Artist: Michael Garland
Perhaps the most colorful of the three Short brothers, Horace Leonard Short was born July 2, 1872, in Durham, England. Possessing an unusual appearance due to a childhood illness that left him disfigured, Horace was blessed with an inquisitive mind and an indomitable spirit. Whether he was being captured by cannibals and worshipped as their king in the South Pacific, trekking on foot across South America, driving off bloodthirsty bandits from his silver mine in Mexico or experimenting wth one of his many inventions in England, Horace truly lived life to its fullest. In October 1908, his younger brothers Eustace and Oswald, owners of a successful balloon company, became excited about the possibilities of opening up the world's first aircraft company. With the news of the success of the Wright Flyer, Oswald exclaimed to Eustace, "This is the finish of ballooning; we must begin building aeroplanes at once, and we can't do that without Horace!" Upon hearing his brothers' plea for assistance, Horace confidently replied, "Yes, but you'd better be quick; I'll be with you in three days, and if you aren't ready by then I'll start without you." The next month the partnership of Short Brothers was registered at Battersea, England. In 1913, one of Horace's many inventions would become his most famous -- a patented wing-folding design for naval carrier aircraft.
This painting was originally published on the Fleetwood® Horace Short Commemorative Cover postmarked March 14, 1998.
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