Fundraising effort begins for Charles Taylor mural

TaylorMural 2

When Victor Boyce, who heads the Workshops Area at SUN ’n FUN every year, walked into the Florida Air Museum, which is on the SUN ’n FUN campus at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport (LAL), he noticed something was missing.

“I saw a number of 12-foot by 12-foot murals on the wall of the museum’s Hangar A — there were murals of the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart and others. But there were NO murals of Charles Taylor,” said Boyce, a long-time aircraft mechanic who received the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award about nine years ago.

For those who aren’t familiar with the name, Charles Taylor was the Wright brother’s mechanic. “Charles hand-built the engine for the Wright brothers’ first powered flight because no one else was interested in supplying them with a suitable engine,” Boyce said.

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Charles E. Taylor…Who is he?

Charles Taylor

Born on May 24, 1868, Charles E. Taylor grew into a career as a machinist. In the 1890s he settled in Ohio with his wife who had friends there. In 1901 two brothers who owned a bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio, decided they needed someone they could trust to run their shop as they went off on crazy adventures in North Carolina.

By 1903 the the Wright brothers had involved their “Foreman Machinist” in their experimental flying machine constructed of wood and fabric. They now required an engine that was light and yet had enough power to carry a man and their flying machine with a 40-foot wingspan.

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