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August 18, 2014


Jim Mackay

Alexandria has actually had at least two aircraft companies, but I believe that Berliner-Joyce used a different building. On October 5, 1917, a piece appeared in the Wash. Post about a company getting started in the old Portner building. Originally called the Briggs Aeroplane Co., they built seaplanes ("flying boats") and tested them on the Potomac. The following May, a notice appeared in the magazine Aviation in which a name change was mentioned (to the Alexandria Aircraft Corp.), along with a note about the company also leasing "the Pioneer Mills property." I think that this pre-Civil War flour mill is the building that Berliner-Joyce used in the 1920's, and a photo exists of their operation inside it at the Special Collections & Local History branch of the Alexandria Library on Queen St. I think the photo that you have above is of the Briggs/Alexandria Aircraft operation, in the old Portner building.

Jim Mackay, Director
The Lyceum --- Alexandria's History Museum

Jaybird's Jottings

Thanks Jim, I appreciate your comments and hearing from someone with your knowledge.

That must have been something to see the seaplanes on the Potomac!

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