"One day, as a young boy, I was with my older brother inside Colonel Bob's, the premier model shop in all of Los Angeles at the time, when a small group of men got into a rather heated argument about who built and flew the first airplanes. One of the men had a rolled up a comic book in his hand waving it around arguing with another man about the Wright Brothers and Leonardo Da Vinci. The man with the comic book threw it down on the counter and walked out. As it became slightly unrolled I picked it up to look at it. On the cover was a picture of a young man that apparently jumped off of a tower holding on to some kind of winged flying apparatus. The caption on the cover above the picture read '500 Years Too Soon' with a smaller caption lower down that read 'First World Flight.' After that, like Leonardo, nobody was able to stop me from building my own flying machine."
LEONARDO DA VINCI: 500 Years Too Soon
The opening graphics above are the cover and the first of the pages for the 500 Too Soon story from the 1948 "Daisy Handbook No. 2" in it's actual 5.25 x 4.5 size. Further down the page is the whole story in black and white directly from the handbook, albeit with the pages expanded closer to a regular comic book size for easier viewing and reading.
The black and white version of the Leonardo Da Vinci story 500 Years Too Soon, below, was published in 1948, the second in a series of two fairly thick, more-or-less pocket sized 4X5 inch publications put out by the Daisy Air Rifle folk titled "The Daisy Handbook No. 2." The exact same Da Vinci story, albeit in full color, had been published a year earlier in True Comics, No. 58, dated March 1947, the same comic book I was talking about in the above quote.
I had copies of both, the comic book and the handbook, but since I was just a young kid in those days, and that was a long time ago, I am not sure what happened to either of them. While it could be argued the Daisy version was not a book in the classical sense such as the hard covered The Mechanical Investigations of Leonardo da Vinci, it was more book-like than comic-like, and because it was sort of pocket size, I hauled it around with me all over the place for several years becoming a major factor in my early designs and attempts at flight.
Just after the last page below of the black and white version of the "500 Years Too Soon" as published in the Daisy Handbook and reproduced here is a cover graphic of the True Comics that the original Da Vinci story appeared in. Clicking the image of that cover graphic will take you to a site where the original full color, full size version of the story, start to finish, as published in True Comics, No. 58, can be found.
Daisy Handbook No. 2 was published by the Daisy Manufacturing Company with a copyright date of 1948. It was published in a booklet format of 128 pages plus an eight page catalog in the center with the covers measuring 5.25" x 4.5". The "handbook," except for the smaller size, was basically a comic book which includes a four page full color Daisy Air Rifles Catalog bound between the center pages. It also featured is advertising for Daisy BB guns and accessories on the inside front cover and the back cover. Besides having several text-like articles with helpful hints on camping and such the comic book portion featured illustrated stories that included the following cartoon and historical luminaries:
DA VINCI: TRUE COMICS, NO. 58, MARCH 1947
(please click image)
EARLY FLYERS: FROM ICARUS TO LILIENTHAL
LEONARDO DA VINCI: 500 YEARS TO SOON
THE FLYING MACHINE: AMERICA 1948 AD
THE DA VINCI GLIDER CIRCA 1500 AD
LILIENTHAL GLIDER TYPE IX
THE BLACK CONDOR: THE MAN WHO COULD FLY LIKE A BIRD
FLYING MACHINE OF DIEGO MARIN AGUILERA, FLOWN IN 1793
THE FLYING MACHINE: CHINA 400 A.D
SO, DID THE WANDERLING FLY?
ON THE RAZOR'S
As to the subject of donations, for those of you who may be interested in doing so as it applies to the gratefulness of my works, I invariably suggest any funds be directed toward THE WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT and/or THE AMERICAN RED CROSS.