Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two More Biplanes Leroy J.Prinz & Carl Fisher

If You have bookplates with biplanes and would like them added to this posting please send Jpegs to

I didn't intentionally save these two for last but the owners of both plates are larger than life characters..
 If a writer tried to fashion a novel based on their real life accomplishment it would appear contrived and not believable.
Let's start with Leroy J. Prinz

"St. Joseph, MO, just wasn't exciting enough for young LeRoy Prinz; barely out of his teens, he ran away from home to join the French Foreign Legion. Here he learned the rudiments of aviation, which enabled him to join American ace Eddie Rickenbacker's squadron during World War I. How all this prepared him for a career as a dancer/choreographer is anyone's guess, but by the mid-'20s, Prinz was in Europe, staging production numbers for Paris' Folies Bergere and for Viennese impresario Max Reinhardt. He came to films as a dance director in 1929, working on such early-talkie musicals as Innocents of Paris (1929) and Madame Satan (1930); this latter film launched a long association with director Cecil B. DeMille. Working on some 200 films at various studios (he spent most of his time at Paramount and Warner Bros.), Prinz was nominated for three Academy awards. When he finally won an Oscar, it was for his direction of the uncharacteristically sentimental (and non-musical) Warners short subject A Boy and His Dog (1946). Prinz also produced and directed a brace of 45-minute "streamliners" for Hal Roach, All American Co-Ed(1941) and Fiesta (1941). In films until 1958, LeRoy Prinz was a highly original, fiercely independent talent, a man who was unafraid to tell anyone -- even Jack Warner himself -- what to do and where to go if it impeded his work. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi "
The brief biography was copied from this site:

The image shown above came from this site

                 Sweater Girls: Leroy Prinz Dancers

Paramount dance director LeRoy Prinz with, from left, Esther Pressman, Beula McDonald, Bonita Barker, Kay Gordon, Dorothy Thompson and Dene Myles.
(Los Angeles Times Photo, April 15, 1935

                                                                     CARL FISHER

A complete biography of the remarkable man can be read at this site:

"Fisher operated what is believed to be the first automobile dealership in the United States inIndianapolis, and also worked at developing an automobile racetrack locally. After being injured in stunts himself, and following a safety debacle at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway, of which he was a principal, he helped develop paved racetracks and public roadways. Improvements he implemented at the speedway led to its nickname "The Brickyard".
In 1913, Fisher conceived and helped develop the Lincoln Highway, the first road for the automobile across the entire United States of America. A convoy trip a few years later by theU.S. Army along Fisher's Lincoln Highway was a major influence upon then Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower years later in championing theInterstate Highway System during his presidency in the 1950s.
Carl Fisher followed the east-west Lincoln Highway in 1914 with the conception of the north-south Dixie Highway, which first led fromIndianapolis, and eventually extended in several northern branches from the Mid-West U.S. at the Canadian borders to southern mainlandFlorida. Under his leadership, the initial portion was completed within a single year, and he led an automobile caravan to Florida fromIndiana.
At the south end of the Dixie Highway in Miami, Florida, Fisher became involved in the successful real estate development of the new resort city of Miami Beach, built on a largely unpopulated barrier island and reached by the new Collins Bridge across Biscayne Baydirectly at the terminus of the Dixie Highway. Fisher was one of the best known and active promoters of the Florida land boom of the 1920s. By 1926, he was worth an estimated $100 million, and redirected his promotional efforts when the Florida real estate market bubble burst after 1925. His final major project, cut short by the Great Depression, was a "Miami Beach of the north" at Montauk, located at the eastern tip of Long IslandNew York.
His fortune was lost in the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression in the United States which followed shortly thereafter. He found himself living in a small cottage in Miami Beach, doing minor work for old friends. Nevertheless, years after his fortune had been lost, at the end of his career, he took on one more project, albeit more modest than many of his past ventures, and built the famousCaribbean Club on Key Largo, intended as a "poor man's retreat."
Although he had lost his fortune and late in life considered himself a failure, Fisher is widely regarded as a very successful man in the long view of his life. He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1971. In a 1998 study judged by a panel of 56 historians, writers, and others, Carl G. Fisher was named one of the 50 Most Influential People in the history of the State of Florida by The Ledger newspaper.PBS labeled him "Mr. Miami Beach." Just south of Miami Beach, Fisher Island (which he once owned, and is named for him), became one of the wealthiest and most exclusive residential areas in the United States."

Fellow Collector Arno Gschwendtner sent me this video about a bookplate meeting and exhibit.
 It is narrated in German. .The images are well worth looking at even if you do not understand the words.

See You next Sunday


MrCachet said...

A great Aviation History lesson - by the book(plate)!

Anne said...

Enjoyed the video, thank you for posting!