Nova Scotia Archives

J.A.D. McCurdy

and the Silver Dart: Canada's 'First Aerial Navigator'


Georgina McCurdy [?] holding her nephew J.A.D. McCurdy

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Lucy McCurdy died on 25 March 1888, a week after the birth of her son Lucian. Georgina McCurdy, Arthur McCurdy's sister, then assumed the care of the four motherless children. When a prominent family wanted to adopt J.A.D. McCurdy, Aunt Georgie is reputed to have said, "He was born a McCurdy and by God he will die a McCurdy". H. Percy Blanchard, The McCurdys of Nova Scotia, 1930, p. 148, provides insight into Georgina McCurdy's personality. Arthur McCurdy purchased Sable Island ponies for his sons but the ponies had a reputation as being unbroken. Nevertheless, Aunt Georgie still rode in the rickety waggon with her nephews. Douglas McCurdy, "one of her BOYS", asked in the 1920s, " 'Aunt Georgie, how would you like to go up for a fly?' 'Well Douglas,' came the calm response, 'would my being in the aeroplane make it any more unsafe?' 'Oh no, it goes all right with two.' So, without further ado, Aunt Georgie accepted the invitation, and in an hour might have been seen serenely sailing over Toronto. Miss McCurdy would at that time be about eighty years young."

Date: ca. 1893

Photographer: C.M. Bell, Washington

Reference no.: J.A.D. McCurdy Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 2007-058 vol. 003 no. 07