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The Catalina Islander
Avalon, California
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September 7, 2012     The Catalina Islander
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September 7, 2012
 

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useum MORE THAN 600 VISITORS SEE WILLIAM WRIGLEY-JR. EXHIBIT A crowd gathered outside the Catalina Island Museum Friday night, Aug. 31, waiting to be the first to see the exhibition fibout the life of William Wrigley Jr. and his unique vision for Santa Catalina Island. Nearly 200 people attended the opening reception for "A Demo- cratic Dream: William Wrigley Jr. and Catalina Island?' Many in attendance spent time viewing the historic photographs, vintage Wrigley gum ads and the video documentary about Wrigley that was created by the museum. Pa- trons were heard saying~ they LEFT: Museum RIGHT: Special trait of William patrons enjoying the exhibition. The event was catered by Steve's Steakhouse Guest Steve Schreiner, great-grandson of William Wrigley Jr., standing by a por- Wrigley Jr. in the exhibition. Marsche, the museum's executive director. "Successful exhibitions like this demonstrate the impor- tance of the museum to the island "didn't realizethe extent of what and its visitors." Wrigley did for Catalina Island" Also in attendance for the open- they were "impressed by his mar- ing reception were Steven Sch- keting strategies and forward reiner, great-grandson of William thinking," and were "excited to Wrigley Jr., and his family. Items learn more about the man they from the family were loaned to the thought they knew?' museum for this exhibition. "Over 600 people visited the "It is an honor and privilege to museum during the opening be a part of this family and to be weekend," said Dr. Michael De involved with this museum," said Schreiner. "What they have done in this exhibition is to bring Wil- liam Wrigley Jr. tO life. It is abso- lutely fantastic and I recommend that everyone go see it?' This exhibition was curated by the Catalina Island Museum, and the exhibition was drawn from the museum's own impres- sive collection of photographs and artifacts. In addition, objects and photographs were loaned from the collections of the Chicago His- tory Museum, the archives of the From page 2 While William Wrigley Jr. himself was not especially inter- ested in" aviation, such was not the case with his son Philip K. Wrig- ley. Being of a younger generation, and having worked in aviation for the U.S. Navy at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, "P.K?' was thrilled to offer this new mode of transportation to the Island, so much so that in 1931 he bought out Western Air Express' air routes and founded Wilmington-Catal!na Airline. Shortly after the new airline took off, P.K. hired a profoundly experienced Naval aviator named Walter Seller to head up opera- tions. Seller, a no-nonsense but well-liked Ohioan--wh0 as a boy often played hookie so that he could go visit the Wright Brothers shop in his hometown of Dayton-- was to become one of the most in- fluential characters in Catalina's aviation history. While the airline initially used the same Loening equipment that Western Air Express had used, they eventually switched to one of the most unique aircraft ever used in Catalina service--the Douglas Dolphin In fact, the Douglas Dolphin was the only plane ever built that was specifically designed for Cata- lina Island The idea for the plane literally began during a conversa- tion between P.K. and his good friend aerospace legend Donald Douglas while dining in the Ca- sino. The two sat down and ham- mered out plans for an amphibian plane that could be sturdy enough to handle the sometimes rough waters around the Island, yet car- ry enough passengers to earn its keep. The *airline operated out of a unique seaplane base located at Hamilton Cove that featured a turnstyle on which the airplanes could be rotated 180 degrees be- and Long Beach. But by 1940,just fore returning to the water, as the new Catalina Airport was The airline eventually pur- being built in the Island's interior, chased eight of the planes, which the winds of war were blowing and served admirably in the Wilming- the days of Catalina Air Line were ton-Catalina fleet until the start numbered. of World War II. Only 58 of the planes were ever built and only NEXT WEEK: 1941-1967 one survives today, at the Naval Jim Watson is a regular Aviation Museum in Pensacola, columnist for tke Catalina Florida. Islander and producer/direc- In 1938, the airline changed its tot of the two-part docu- name to Catalina Air Transport, in mentary, "Wings Across The part to reflect its expanded routes Channel: Catalina Island's from just Wilmington to Burbank Aviation History." Send us your news'and photos! ed@cinews.us William Wrigley Jr. Company and art, culture and history. The mu- various private collections,scum, its digital theater and store The exhibition "A Democraticare located on the ground floor of Dream: William Wrigley Jr. and Avalon's historic Casino and are Catalina Island" runs through open seven days a week, from 10 Nov. 26. a.m. to 5 p.m. For more informa- The Catalina Island Museum is tion, call at (310) 510-2414 or visit Avalon's sole institution devoted to CatalinaMuseum.org. i:HiE CaTALiN~tiS~Nimli .......................................................... : .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Septemi6er 7,261~; : S