Introducing “Line of Position”


I am Paul Lagasse, a full-time freelance generalist writer/editor with a lifelong interest in the history of aviation. Line of Position will be the online home of my research into the life and work of Captain Philip Van Horn Weems, USN, widely recognized as the founder of air navigation.

I have a BA and MA in history as well as an MLS in archival studies. For my Master’s thesis I wrote what is probably still the definitive history of Westinghouse Electric’s jet engine R&D and manufacturing program 1940-1960. (One of the advantages of picking a topic related to an all-but-forgotten chapter of technology and business history is that it allows you to be able to still call your thesis “definitive” twenty years later!)

Topics that I will cover here include the biography of Captain Weems and other pioneers of air navigation; the history of maritime, air, and space navigation; books, articles, and other scholarship of interest; and conferences and events related to the history of air navigation. You can read more about Line of Position on the About page.

Welcome! I hope that Line of Position will eventually become a hub for people who share an interest in the history of air navigation. Please feel free to leave a comment and share links of interest. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone who has an interest in the history of air navigation!

One thought on “Introducing “Line of Position”

  1. Greetings Paul.. my name is Andrew Tolley (Andy from here on in). I see you have an interest in a man and time period that I and likely many others hold very dear. I have been an avid pilot watch collector for many years and hold many of the two most famous of all vintage pilot watches. These are the so called Weems and the Lindbergh which improved upon Weems original designs. I am presently working on pulling together a website called Flightbirds. This will tie together the magnificent men and women of this golden age of pre commercial navigation with the watches that made it all possible. I have a truly unique collection of pieces (and happy to forward photos including all generations of the 2 most famous watches above). I also have a unique one off display board complete with new watches including those designed by both Lindbergh and Weems. It also includes an honor roll with names of 28 household avaitors / aviatrix names.. so called heroes of aviation and exploration of this golden pre commercial time.. Hughes, Earhart, Lindbergh, Weems, Johnson, Mittelholzer.. et al. It is a sales store piece used by the Longines-Wittnauer company (American agents for Longines) The director of the FAA was a guy you have likely heard of John Heinmuller. He was also a director of Longines -Wittnauer company and along with knowing and financing many of these early flights was responsible for timing the records. It seems you have written a Biography in this space on Weems and quite likely others. I have ha the other biographies of these Aviation characters written up but it is likely the lady writing up will not do justice to what you likely already have. Would you allow your article/s published with full credit to you along with payment to you/charity if you so wish for this or other articles that may lend themselves to the project. I would show you before going live and the project will be professionally done. I would be more than happy to forward you pictures and content of same. I am on Sincere regards Andy

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