Griffith Brewer

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Griffith Brewer (1867–1948) was an aeronaut, inventor, and patent agent from London.

In 1903 he joined the Royal Aeronautical Society. He was a founding member of the Royal Aero Club. He became a fellow in the Chartered Institute of Patent Agents in 1900.[1] He was a Royal Aero Club delegate to international conferences in Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Vienna, and the Hague. He was secretary of the Wilbur Wright Memorial Fund and delivered the fourth Wilbur Wright lecture.[2]

Brewer attended King's College, London (and studied "abroad"). He trained to become a patent agent and joined his father's business (Brewer & Son) in 1885. From 1891–1899 he ran the company's Yorkshire office.[1]

In May 1891 at the Naval Exhibition in Chelsea, Brewer took his first trip in a balloon. The pilot was Auguste Gaudron. He proceeded to study ballooning with Percival Spenser, making 8 more ascents in the same year, and in 1892 he became a pilot for Spencer Brothers.[1][2]

He participated in the 1st Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race in Paris, the 2nd Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race in St. Louis, and the 3rd Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race in Berlin. He won the 1908 International Balloon Race at Hurlingham.[1][2]

Brewer met Wilbur Wright in France and on 8 October 1908 became the first Englishman to fly in an airplane. In 1909 he arranged for the Short Brothers to buy six Wright airplanes. He became good friends with the Wrights, whom he visited 30 times. In 1912 he helped to incorporate the British Wright Company to handle their foreign patents.[1][2] He negotiated the British government's recognition of the Wright patent, and payment of ₤15,000, in 1913.[3]

He learned airplane flying in Dayton—on the Wright field, flying a Wright aircraft—from Mr. Reinhart. On 15 August 1914 he earned his U.S. flying license, then returned to the UK.[1]

During the War, Brewer was Honorary Adviser to the Royal Naval Air Service, and gave two lectures a day to Allied air officers at the Roehampton Kite Balloon Station.[1] These lectures were reprinted with permission by the U.S. Navy and Army.[2]

In 1908 he conducted "experiments on the breaking away of kite balloons" which he described in a paper read to the Royal Aeronautical Society on 26 November 1919.[1]

In 1921 issued an analysis in defense of the originality of the Wright invention, relative to the Langley aircraft, in light of Curtiss's later arguments. This statement was presented to the Royal Aeronautical Society on 20 October 1921[3] and appeared in the Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1921 (Brewer, 1921, The Langley Machine and the Hammondsport Trials). accompanied by secondary publication and correspondence in other journals including Nature.

He married Beatrice Swanston, first woman to cross the English Channel in an aerial balloon.[1]

Publications by or about Griffith Brewer

Letters sent by Griffith Brewer

Letters received by Griffith Brewer