Thomas Sopwith, British aviation pioneer

Thomas Sopwith, British aviation pioneer

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Thomas Sopwith (1888-1989), British aviation pioneer, in a Howard Wright biplane. Sopwith taught himself to fly in 1910, and won a monetary prize for a flight of 169 miles. In 1912, he was one of the founders of the Sopwith Aviation Company. Their most famous aircraft was the Sopwith Camel, used by the British in World War I. Sopwith was made CBE in 1918. After the war, he became a leading yachtsman. He was knighted in 1953. He died at the age of 101. This photograph, from the 1910s, is from the Bain News Service, one of the USA's earliest news picture libraries. The photographs date from the 1890s to the 1930s.

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