J.B.'s Journal: Ezekiel Airship

(KYTX)- In tonight's J.B.'s Journal more than one hundred years ago, in the East Texas town of Pittsburgh, a local preacher built a flying machine.
Tonight J.B. Smith takes us to see the Ezekiel Airship and teaches us about its place in history. 

"A lot of people dreamed about flying, one of those dreams man has always had."

81-year-old Winfred Newsome stares in awe at the Ezekiel airship every time he comes to the museum.

"Would excite your soul to have the opportunity to fly something like this Ezekiel airship the first time around."

In the early 1900's, Baptist minister and inventor Burrell Cannonturned to the Bible for inspiration on how to build an airship.

"His inspiration was book of Ezekiel, that none of us understand butI'm sure he had that in mind sort of way.""What it had was four sets of paddles, those paddles as they turned created a lift."

Cannon attracted dozens of investors to construct his giant flying machine. With just a few witnesses watching, a worker decided to see, if it could fly.

"This marker in Pittsburgh, TX is reportedly the location where theEzekiel airship was briefly airborne; that was 1902; the Wright brothers didn't fly until one year later."

"I think what happened in my opinion, got a few extra RPM out of it,hadn't done before, gave it enough lift to become airborne."

"It went 158 feet, across the fence and landed."

The Ezekiel airship was destroyed by a storm while on a train on it'sway to the World's Fair.Based on a photo, townspeople built a replica in the 1980's.

"The original Ezekiel airship only weighed 406 pounds, the replica here weighs 2000 pounds, took a lot of craftsmanship to get this built, hungf rom the rafters, not an easy job at all."

Today, thousands of visitors come to the museum to see and debate theEzekiel airship's flying ability."If someone could build a replica the way they built it, I think there's a good possibility somebody could fly it."

For CBS 19, I'm J.B.Smith

"People of East Texas have that mind where were want to go above and beyond and go somewhere where man has never gone before."and that's my story. 

Orville and Wilbur Wright are credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane and making a controlled flight in 1903.

The Ezekiel Airship is located at the Northeast Texas Rural Heritage Museum in Pittsburg. 


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