The History of Cleveland Model & Supply Company
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Cleveland Model & Supply Company, the oldest, continuously-operating model airplane company in the world, was founded in 1926 by Edward T. Pachasa (later Packard). Mr. Packard started the business with his four brothers, his mother and father in their residence and a converted barn near West 57th Street and Bridge Avenue, on the west side of Cleveland Ohio.
Mr. Packard began the design and manufacture of model airplane kits on a part-time basis in 1919 (hence, the phrase “Model Engineers Since 1919”) at the age of 13 with the “Skylark”. This model aircraft incorporated a pine vee-frame, 28-inch long fuselage and a bird-shaped wing of 24-inch span. the wing and stabilizer were covered with 0.005-inch white fiber. The model was a twin-pusher design powered by two, 6-inch bent-fiber propellers. Mr. Packard made eight “skylarks” and sold five of them at a retail price of $3.50.
After working in the upholstery, covering and doping departments of the Glen L. Martin Company in Cleveland, and in Tony Fokker’s Atlantic Aviation in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, Mr. Packard was financially able to enter into the full-time production of model aircraft kits. In July 1927, only two months after Charles Lindbergh’s epic New-York-to-Paris flight ignited the aviation passions of American youth, Halle Brothers Department Stores of Cleveland “jump Started” the company’s business buy ordering 360, Cleveland rise-off-ground (ROG), “Wasp”, 14-inch span models.
Cleveland’s first major kit was the 1/16th-scale SF-1 (Scale Flying 1), rubber-powered, Great Lakes 2T-1 Sport Trainer, which was offered in 1929 for $4.95. This kit revolutionized the hobby of aircraft model building with the introduction of simplified, glued, all-balsa construction. Prior to the introduction of this milestone kit, the hobby was characterized by the laborious, time-consuming use of nailed, thread-wrapped joint construction with pine, basswood, and bamboo materials.