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Crazy Cook's Flying Machine Lands at Mansfield Lahm Airport
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Story By: Staff Reporter



  Originally Published on: 6/30/2014

In 1859, local resident Daniel McFarland Cook announces to the Mansfield herald that "I will make a voyage to San Francisco, breakfasting here, dining there, and returning the same day for supper, making the entire trip in about twelve hours."

Word spread like wildfire. At this time in history, Mansfield is 50 years old, the Civil War hasn't happened yet, the only means of transportation was by the use horses. No one has ever heard the term "Automobile" and "Airplane" and the Wright brothers won't even be born for another ten years.

Cook's success began when he invented "Cook's Sugar Evaporator" for the first major factory in Mansfield "Blymyer & Day" who manufactured the device. The invention made it easier to produce maple sugar. The invention sold millions and Danielle Cook became very wealthy.

Cook spent everything he had on his inventions. He had created a light bulb seven years before Edison but was never able to successfully market it and was not given the credit Edison was.

For his flying machine, Cook intended to use an electric engine he was working on which would elevate, propel, and direct the the flying machine without hydrogen, gas, steam, fans or rudders.

Danielle Cook unfortunately was never able to finish his flying machine but his imagination, ideas, and creations are able to inspire people today.

Cook's flying machine is currently on display at Mansfield Lahm Airport where it will remain for the upcoming Flying Day event. Local historian Tim McKee, who produced the documentary "Dreams and Rust" about Cook, was on hand when the flying machine was delivered on Monday afternoon.

McKee says the flying machine has been held at a number of different places during its 155 year history and been used for a variety of different things. He says Monday was the first time the flying machine had ever been around another airplane and that it very well could spend the rest of its days at Mansfield Lahm.

Airport Day chairman Bill Schmidt is excited to have the flying machine at the airport for the upcoming event and says it's a great piece of local history. Visitors to Saturdays event can see the flying machine on display, complete with posters telling Cook's story and a looping copy of "Dreams and Rust". 

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