Who’s First? (Seriously)

Were the Wright Brothers really the first to fly an airplane?  They’re given credit, and they certainly advanced aviation, forming their own company and continuing their research.  But there are other claimants.  (A good article summarizing those claims is at http://www.airspacemag.com/history-of-flight/who-flew-first-290750/?no-ist.  And I still consider the Wright Brothers to be first.)

James Watt is associated with the steam engine, but Hero of Alexandria designed the world’s first aeolipile, a primitive steam turbine, in the first century A.D.     (MosesFleetwoodWalker2_original_original_crop_exacthttp://www.livescience.com/44186-who-invented-the-steam-engine.html)

I got to thinking about this when I ran across a news item about a famous Ohioian named Moses Fleetwood Walker.  Moses was actually the first African-American to play major league baseball.  He played for the Toledo Blue Stockings in the American Association, forerunner of the American League, in the 1884.  This is not to diminish the accomplishments of Jackie Robinson, who literally risked his life to play in the majors.  But Moses had it tough, too, especially since he played catcher, a position that was especially difficult in that era.  In fact, Moses suffered a season-ending injury in July of that year and would never play in the majors again.

To read more of Moses Fleetwood Walker’s fascinating story, go to http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1147947-moses-fleetwood-walker-the-forgotten-man-who-actually-integrated-baseball.   The photo is from that website.

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