Even though Abraham Lincoln died 38 years before the Wright brothers had their historic first flight, Springfield author Job Conger found a link between Springfield’s favorite son and aviation.
As it turned out, President Lincoln signed legislation in 1861 that appropriated money for a balloon to be used for military observation. Observers in tethered balloons could keep an eye on enemy troop movements.
Information about Lincoln is just one part of Conger’s book, “Springfield Aviation.” The 127-page paperback is being put out by Arcadia Publishing and will be in local bookstores Monday.
Conger says Springfield has a rich aviation history. Charles Lindbergh flew airmail flights in and out of Springfield in the 1920s, and Amelia Earhart visited the city on a couple of occasions.
His book includes 209 pictures that span Springfield aviation from its infancy to the present day. Some of the pictures are from Conger’s private collection, while others were borrowed from the Springfield Public Library’s Sangamon Valley Collection.
Some of the pictures show aircraft flown by the Air National Guard in Springfield. An entire chapter is devoted to Springfield Air Rendezvous.