Father of the Airport - Murderer - Great Forger of Autographs
WOODHOUSE, Henry (1884-1970). Born in Italy, he came to the US and worked in a kitchen in Troy, NY. He killed the head chef with a knife, was arrested and sentenced to 4 years in prison. President of the Aerial League of America and also President of the Historic Arts Association. Known as the “Father of the Airport”, he was an early supporter of aviation and also supported the Polar Expeditions. He founded and published the magazine “Flying” (1912-1920). In 1928-30 he bought more than 1500 acres of land south of Washington, DC. Much of the land was ancestral lands of George Washington and George Mason. He planned to build a large Zeppelin airport on the grounds. Woodhouse collected items signed by famous people and donated many documents signed by George Washington to the Library of Congress. Later, he forged autographs however his works were far from perfect.
Reproduction of a front page article from the New York Times, Dec. 29, 1929. Mr. Woodhouse was searching for the original air passport given by George Washington to the aeronaut J.P. Blanchard on Jan. 9, 1793. It was for the first aerial ascension made on the Western hemisphere and carrying the first American Flag that ever floated into the heavens. During his search he was able to discover and purchase Washington’s Gown which was worn by him till the time of his death. Inscribed and signed by Henry Woodhouse along the bottom margin. Woodhouse appears in a chapter of Charles Hamilton’s book “Great Forgers & Famous Fakes” (1980). A fine example of a very scarce signature, this is the first we have had handled..........$450.00