Kentucky Historical Society


Moments in Kentucky
Legislative History

48. Aeronautic Commission (1940)

On March 20, 1940, the General Assembly in an act "to provide for the regulation of aeronautics within this Commonwealth in the interest of public safety and of aeronautic progress" created the Kentucky Aeronautic Commission. The governor was empowered to appoint a six-member bipartisan commission (three Democrats and three Republicans); rotation off the commission was to be done in such a way as to always maintain this balance. The General Assembly also established the office of Kentucky Aeronautics Director and empowered the commission to find a qualified person with extensive experience in the industry, including "two (200) hundred certified flying hours as pilot." The director was charged with carrying out the provisions of the act and with administering "the rules, regulations and orders established thereunder as well as the law of the United States and the Commonwealth of Kentucky with reference to aeronautics." Citing an "urgent need" to carry out the provisions of the act, the General Assembly declared an emergency so as to implement them as quickly as possible.

The Great Steam-Duck of Louisville, 1841.

The Great Steam-Duck of Louisville, 1841. "Being a most useful and extraordinary American invention for aerial navigation by a member of the L.L.B." This print was published in 1943 by the Youth Group of Magazines (including American Girl and Boy's Life). It was dedicated to the "Executives of American Business as a Memorial to the American Youth of Every Age who have accepted, enlarged, glorified and made profitable all new ideas and things." The text below the image describes the duck as "fifteen feet long from beak to tail, and six feet in diameter. It is constructed in the form of a mallard duck, a fowl well known for its swiftness of wing. It is constructed of light hickory and is covered with canvas, varnished and air tight. The wings have but one joint, and are so constructed as to revolve with the necessary motion. A steam scape-pipe, passing along under the bottom, is conducted out under the tail, and gives additional impetus to the machine in its flight." Kentucky Historical Society Collections.

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