National Geographic : 1956 Aug
232 Dart.* This was the first airplane flight in Canada and the first by a British subject any where in the British Empire. A former Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia, Mr. McCurdy is the sole survivor of that little group and will attend the ceremonies. Later I want to tell you more about the A.E.A.'s historic work, but right now let's stroll through the museum. Entering its broad portal, one of the first things you see is this printed statement, photo graphically enlarged and prominently dis played near the foyer: The inventor is a man who looks around upon the world and is not contented with things as they are. He wants to improve whatever he sees, he wants to benefit the world; he is haunted by an idea, the spirit of invention possesses him, seeking material ization.-Alexander Graham Bell. This is an excerpt from a speech he de livered to the Patent Congress of 1891 in Washington, D. C. It describes, in far better words than I can command, both the man himself and the message of the museum. Many people, I suspect, think of a museum as a rather somber place with echoing corri dors and a maze of rooms. But visitors to the Bell memorial find themselves in a very different atmosphere. The ground floor, one spacious room be neath massive beams, runs the length of the building, with open staircases leading to a mezzanine and lower level-an arrangement that suggests the modern split-level home (opposite and page 237). Warm colors are everywhere, and there is even a flower garden in a corner nook. Old Notebooks Forecast the Future But the architect owes his most intriguing touch to Dr. Bell. Pages from the unpub lished laboratory and home notebooks were reproduced on glass by a photographic process, and the builders inserted these glass panels in doors, windows, and partitions. Each fac simile shows the scientist's pen-and-ink notes, enlivened by his own sketches of some new device or idea (page 240). Many will startle you, so prophetic do they seem today. Glancing at a panel dated June 30, 1910, you see a little one-man helicopter hovering in mid-air. And here, on July 1, 1893, a model rocket plane roars aloft (p. 249). A man-carrying kite powered by airplane propellers and designed for a water take-off streaks across the page for September 4, 1907. *See "Fifty Years of Flight" (Historic Photo graphs), NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, Decem ber, 1953.