ABOUT THIS BOOK
French-born and self-trained civil engineer Octave Chanute designed America's two largest stockyards, created innovative and influential structures such as the Kansas City Bridge over the previously "unbridgeable" Missouri River, and was a passionate aviation pioneer whose collaborative approach to aeronautical engineering problems helped the Wright brothers take flight. Drawing on a rich trove of archival material and exclusive family sources, Locomotive to Aeromotive is the first detailed examination of Chanute's life and his immeasurable contributions to the fields of engineering and transportation, from the ground transportation revolution of the mid-nineteenth century to the early days of aviation.
Aviation researcher and historian Simine Short brings to light in colorful detail many previously overlooked facets of Chanute's life, in both his professional accomplishments and his personal relationships. Through the reflections of other engineers, scientists and pioneers in various fields who knew him, Short characterizes Chanute as a man who believed in fostering and supporting people who were willing to learn. This well-researched biography cements Chanute's place as a preeminent engineer, pioneer, and mentor in the history of transportation in the United States and the development of the airplane.