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Who was "Edmond"?


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#1 Anders1

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 19:53

Hi everybody,

I'm trying to find information about the racing driver "Edmond" who participated in Grands Prix for Darracq and Renault around 1902-1906. The reason is that I research the first air races, and like several other early car racers he started flying around 1909-1910. It appears that it's just as difficult to find information about him as a pilot as a driver.

 

According to some Wikipedia articles his first name was Jacques. This conflicts with some aviation books that say his first name was Maurice.

 

It appears confirmed that the pilot and the driver were the same persons. This is for example stated in "Flight" and in the French newspaper "Le Littoral". The strange thing is that "Edmond" competed in a couple of aviation meetings in 1910, for example the one in Cannes in March-April. In order to be allowed to compete in French meetings pilots were required to have a valid pilot's licence. Still there is no pilot's licence issued to anyone with the family name Edmond. On the other hand, a licence was issued to one Edmond Morelle, on the right kind of airplane (Farman) and at the right time. This is a summary:

  • Auto race driver "Edmond" participated in several high-profile races in 1902-1906, driving first Darracqs and then Renaults.
  • His initial "J" or first name "Jacques", which appear in some recent sources, appears to be questionable and it's uncertain if they appear in contemporary sources.
  • He apparently disappeared from the auto racing scene in 1907.
  • In the 29 January 1910 issue of "Flight" it was reported that ex-Renault race driver "M. Edmond" (presumably "M." for "Monsieur", not the initial) had learned to fly a Henry Farman.
  • On 8 March 1910 Edmond Morelle (born 1880-07-03) was granted "brevet" No. 35, having qualified on a Henry Farman.
  • Edmond Morelle then vanished completely from record. He isn't mentioned even a single time in l'Aérophile or Flight, except in listings of licensed pilots.
  • At the end of March 1910 "Edmond" competed on a Henry Farman at the Cannes aviayion meeting, which he shouldn't have been able to do without a license.
  • During 1910 "Edmond" flew quite a lot, in France, apparently in Russia, and as a Bristol company pilot in Britain. I have still not found his first name in any contemporary sources. Some later books give it as "Maurice", but I don't know when that name first appeared.
  • After the end of 1910 he disappeared without a trace again.

My theory is that this Edmond Morelle raced cars and flew planes under the pseudonym "Edmond", but of course had to have his real name on the pilot's license.

 

I wonder if any of you car racing enthusiasts know anything more. "Edmond" has been discussed on this forum before, see this thread! You can find some more information also in this thread on theaerodrome.com

 

I would particularly like to know it the name "Jacques" can be confirmed. I have my doubts about "Maurice", since it could have been manufactured from the "M." for "Monsieur". Is the name Edmond Morelle familiar to car racing historians?

 

Thanks,
Anders
www.thefirstairraces.net

 



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#2 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 22:03

I have a contemporaneous source for the initial J - although not the name Jacques - which appears in 'Braunbeck's Sport-Lexikon: Automobilismus', published in Germany in 1910. He is described as "Edmond, J., franz. Rennf." - French racing driver.

 

A list of his results also appears, but there are no further clues when those are cross-referenced.



#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 16 December 2013 - 22:26

Oh, and there is also this, from 'Annual Baudry de Saunier. Manuel général de l'industrie automobile', published in Paris in 1907.

 

Edmond.jpg

 

So now you know where he lived!

 

Original source: http://cnum.cnam.fr/...302/100/946/0/0



#4 Anders1

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:05

Oh, and there is also this, from 'Annual Baudry de Saunier. Manuel général de l'industrie automobile', published in Paris in 1907.

 

Edmond.jpg

 

So now you know where he lived!

 

Original source: http://cnum.cnam.fr/...302/100/946/0/0

Thanks for looking!

I'll pop in and see him next time I visit the Paris area! :)

 

Seriously, I again note that even though that book was published at a time when "Edmond" must have been well-known, his entry, as opposed to most other persons mentioned in that book, doesn't mention a first name or even an initial. I still think it might have been a pseudonym.

 

I'll continue checking my old aviation magazines...

Anders



#5 Anders1

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 08:15

I checked the address and it turns out 139, rue du Point-du-Jour in Boulogne-Billancourt was the address of the Renault head office.

 

Anders



#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 17:13

Heh, I should have recognised that address :blush:

 

I've just trawled through a whole bunch of stuff on Gallica. Quite a few mentions of Edmond in race results in the contemporary press, but never an initial. Just 'Edmond'.

 

However, I did find a reference to Edmond Morelle in the August 3rd 1912 edition of l'Aéro. He was admitted to membership of the Aéro-Club de France, apparently at the same time as the rather more famous Maurice Guillaux. See column 2, near the bottom:

 

http://gallica.bnf.f...=morelle.langEN

 

The August 19th 1913 issue also has a reference to a Monsieur Morelle, described as "délégué du Comité aéronautique". See the article headed 'Les Fêtes de Commercy' in column 3:

 

http://gallica.bnf.f...=morelle.langEN



#7 Anders1

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 18:34

I guess we have both made the same searches on Gallica...

I drew nothing on Jacques Edmond, and for J. Edmond I found a guy who had been injured when falling off his bicycle...

Edmond Morelle was apparently granted his balloonist license in 1914.

 

Now to the old paper magazines...

Anders



#8 Anders1

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 20:48

"The Aero", Vol III, No. 64, August 10th, 1910 yielded this image of A. Edmond:

 

aedmond.jpg

 

He is also called A. Edmond in a preview article about the Lanark aviation meeting in the same issue.

Can't say it made things easier...

Anders



#9 Anders1

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 21:56

..and here's a passage from "Flugsport", Vol. II, No. 15, August 3rd, 1910:

 

edmondfs.JPG

 

"Edmond"'s name is within quote marks...

Anders