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Taken 13-Aug-11
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Keywords:Texas Historical Marker, Val Verde County Historical Marker, Cal Rodgers and the Vin Fiz
Photo Info

Dimensions4288 x 2848
Original file size6.33 MB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date taken13-Aug-11 17:52
Date modified13-Aug-11 17:52
Shooting Conditions

Camera makeNIKON CORPORATION
Camera modelNIKON D90
Focal length21 mm
Focal length (35mm)31 mm
Max lens aperturef/3.7
Exposure1/125 at f/5.6
FlashNot fired, auto mode
Exposure bias0 EV
Exposure modeAuto
Exposure prog.Unknown
ISO speedISO 220
Metering modePattern
Digital zoom1x
Cal Rodgers and the Vin Fiz

Cal Rodgers and the Vin Fiz

Del Rio
Val Verde County, Texas
29 21.964' N 100 53.130' W

Text: In 1910, publishing titan William Randolph Hearst offered $50,000 to the first person to successfully complete a transcontinental flight across America in 30 days, with a stop in Chicago, Illinois. Adventurer and newly-trained aviator Calbraith "Cal" Perry Rodgers sought sponsorship from the Armour Meatpacking Company to bankroll his attempt. In return, Rodgers agreed to promote Armour's new grape-flavored soft drink called Vin Fiz. The marketing agreement finalized, Rodgers took off for the West Coast from Sheepshead Bay, Long Island, New York, on Sept. 17, 1911, in a customized Wright Brothers EX Flyer he named, appropriately, Vin Fiz. Mountain ranges were a major problem for early underpowered aircraft, so after reaching Chicago, to avoid large ranges, Rodgers steered southward to Texas. Accompanying him on his record-breaking attempt was a support train carrying spare parts, mechanics and Rodgers' wife, Mabel. Rodgers crossed into Texas and reached San Antonio by Oct. 22. Two days later, he landed in Uvalde and later in Spofford. The next morning, he crashed while taking off but survived. On Oct. 26, 1911, Rodgers landed in Del Rio. The arrival of the airplane was such an event that schools closed to allow children to see the Vin Fiz land in a field east of San Felipe Creek and south of the railroad tracks. Rodgers' stay in Del Rio was brief, but his landing brought aviation to Val Verde County. From here, Rodgers proceeded westward toward El Paso and landed in Pasadena, California on Nov. 5, 1911, but failed to win the Hearst challenge. In his attempt, though, Rodgers flew over 1,000 miles of Texas and landed in the state 23 times.