Affidavit: Cecil A. Steeves - October 10, 1936

I, Cecil A. Steeves, residing at 405 Maplewood Avenue, Bridgeport Connecticut, declare the following to be fast to my best knowledge and belief.

When a boy I lived only one block from the late Gustave Whitehead, my father's business having been located for over thirty years on Spruce Street, while Mr. Whitehead lived and did most of his experimenting on Pine Street. Naturally, boy fashion, I was greatly interested in what Mr. Whitehead was doing, spending a great deal of my time there, both after school hours and during vacations, and he explained much to me about flying machines. Many and many a time I have watched him test a plane while it traveled around and around, in a circle, these tests taking place in his yard, with the plane tied by a rope to a stake which had been driven into the ground, the yard being so small that the plane would have had to have been dismantled in order to have tested it elsewhere. During these tests the plane would rise from three to five feet off the ground. At a later date Mr. Whitehead had a trial flight on the old Gilman estate located on Fairfield Avenue, between Orland and Elsworth Streets, the plane at this flight being up in the air.

Mr. Whitehead then moved his shop to Cherry Street where he continued to do his experimenting, this location being opposite the old Wilmot and Hobbs factory, now occupied by the American Tube and Stamping Company. It was here that the Wright Brothers visited Mr. Whitehead during the early 1900's coming from Ohio and under the guise of offering to help finance his inventions, actually received inside information that aided them materially in completing their own plane. I was at the shop with him when they arrived and waited outside while they talked inside. After they had gone away Mr. Whitehead turned to me and said, "Now since I have given them the secrets of my invention they will probably never do anything in the way of financing me", this proving to have been a true prophesy.

Signed and Witnessed

Site revision: 2006 - Contact us at