Bing Autoplan Conservation pt. 5

More History on the Bing Autoplan

The story of how and when our Bing Autoplan model arrived in the United States from Germany is unknown.

What we do know is that it hung as a decoration behind the speaker’s podium at a party in St. Louis honoring Charles Lindbergh in 1927.  The great-uncle of the Bing Autoplan’s donor, Dick Moyer, attended the party.

Dick’s great-uncle was a vaudeville actor performing under the name Chief Little Elk.  Apparently, Chief Little Elk was persuasive enough that he convinced the party organizers to give him the Bing Autoplan.

The model was in flying condition when Chief Little Elk received it, and for a time afterwards.   His nephew, Dick’s uncle, remembered chasing the plane as it flew down a street in Quincy, IL.  By the time that Dick’s uncle passed it along to Dick it had been disassembled and the covering was gone.  The story and its connection to Lindbergh, though, had survived.

The Bing Autoplan partially assembled in the donor's garage.
The Bing Autoplan partially assembled in the donor’s garage.

In June 2013, Dick had a modeling friend contact Museum Director Michael Smith asking for help in identifying the type of model and its history.  Michael had done earlier research into the Bing Autoplan and was able to make identification pretty quickly.  Thanks to Dick Moyer’s generosity it is now a part of the museum’s collection.

Covering Mysteries in part 6!

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