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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Modern ‘airship’ promises routes from Spokane to central Washington, north Idaho

A Fokker monoplane from Holland was due to arrive in Spokane, where it would make two loops between central Washington and north Idaho.  (S-R archives)
A Fokker monoplane from Holland was due to arrive in Spokane, where it would make two loops between central Washington and north Idaho. (S-R archives)
By Jim Kershner The Spokesman-Review

An ultra-modern “airship” capable of carrying six passengers and a pilot was coming to Spokane to serve routes to Walla Walla, the Coeur d’Alene mining district and points in between.

This “airship” was a Fokker monoplane, already in transit to Spokane from Holland.

The United States Aircraft Corp. was planning two main loops. The first loop would be from Spokane to Lewiston/Clarkston, and then on to Walla Walla, Dayton, Ritzville and back to Spokane.

The second loop was to be from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene, Wallace, Plummer, Fairfield and back to Spokane.

“Business men of the cities mentioned are backing the corporation financially,” said the Spokane Daily Chronicle.

This was only the beginning. The company already had ordered a larger sister ship, capable of carrying 12 passengers. This would be used for a possible coastal route.

“For some time we have been experimenting, in a small way, with commercial passenger carrying by air with our smaller one- and two-passenger ships,” said the head of the company. “Finally, we were convinced to our own satisfaction, that aircraft travel is practical.”

He said the Fokker monoplane is already being used to transport passengers from London to France, and other places in Europe.

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1813: The mortally wounded commander of the USS Chesapeake, Capt. James Lawrence, gave the order, “Don’t give up the ship” during a losing battle with the British frigate HMS Shannon in the War of 1812.

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