Matthew B. Sellers
Aviation Pioneer 1869-1932


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Since her childhood, Barbara Sellers, granddaughter of Matthew B. Sellers, II, has been fascinated with flight and about her grandfather, one of America’s well-respected aviation pioneers, whom she never knew, as he died 25 years before Barbara was born.  Over the last decade she has spent her spare time researching and collecting information on Matthew. 

In 1969, most all of the artifacts on Matthew B. Sellers, II were donated to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. by her father and uncle.  
Barbara states that there is alot of contradictory statements being made that the Wright Brothers did not take the first powered flight and has dedicated one chapter to the other aviation pioneers, who were friends of her grandfather. 
In this chapter you will read that others made the claim of flying before the Wright’s.  "I believe that there was some kind of 'coverup' from reading all of this on the internet and that the Wright Brothers' heirs had an agreement drawn up in 1948 stating that no one else flew before the Wrights' and if anyone came forward stating this they would pull "Kitty Hawk" out of the Smithsonian.  I also was drawn into believing that the Smithsonian was hiding this document from the public."
"After speaking with Dr. Peter Jakab, Associate Director of the Smithsonian, this is not true. He has made this agreement available to whoever has asked for it over the years and states that if anyone has any strong evidence to prove that another aviator did take the first powered, controlled flight he would certainly look at this." He did send me a copy of this agreement.
"My book was published in December of 2009 and my conversation with Dr. Jakab was in February of 2010 after I wrote the chapter on the Wright Brothers'.  I want to stress the fact that there are two sides to every story and I am happy that I was able to hear Dr. Jakab's side. It will be interesting to see in time if anyone ever does come forth to present any evidence of a flight before the Wrights'."
UPDATE:  As of September 16, 2013 I have learned that there is evidence that is being brought forward proving that Gustave Whitehead did in fact take the Nation's first powered flight in 1901 in Connecticut. It has been on the news and in the newspapers. This will certainly in time change the history books forever.
"It is my hope that Matthew’s contemporaries of that time will be recognized for their efforts and achievements just as much as the Wright Brothers and the readers are just as surprised as I was to finding out just how much debate there is on this subject of who had the first powered flight in the late 1800’s and early 1900's."
"My grandfather did not have the first powered flight in America, but did have the first powered flight in Kentucky on Dec 28, 1908, which is well documented in his lab and diary notes.  He copyrighted his famous article The Lift and Drift of Arched Surfaces, which appeared in Scientific American.  He would be the first ever to prove this theory." He also held the patent for the retractable landing gear the first of its kind with three wheels. The patent is in my book.
In this book you will find one of the most comprehensive compilations of original laboratory notes, diaries, his 5 U.S. patents, diagrams and over 100 pictures of his kites, gliders, quadraplanes, engines, propellers and other interesting artifacts.  
Barbara talks about his childhood up through to his death in 1932. This book is 552 pages and has quite an extensive collection of photos, not just of his original photos of the planes, but also of events that have celebrated his life. There are just 85 pages alone of his correspondence and magazine articles. The book is 8.5" x 11" in size and comes in paperback or hardcover. 
Included are numerous articles on many different topics related to aviation.  He was sought after for his opinion constantly and he authored about 30 separate articles published in such magazines as Aviation, Aeronautics and Flight.  Some are included in this book.  He was appointed to the first Naval Consulting Board in 1915 by Thomas A. Edison and President Woodrow Wilson.  He was an expert on our Nation's defense systems.
Barbara, being the youngest of four children, was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey when her family decided to move to Toronto, Canada right after she was born, where they lived until she was five.  In 1963 they moved to Barrington, Illinois where she spent her childhood growing up.  She graduated high school in 1975 and went onto business school in San Francisco receiving her Associates in Business Administration. 
Barbara has served as a Vice Regent with the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Signal Hill Chapter in Barrington, Illinois.  One of the missions of the DAR is to help our Veterans.
She spends alot of her time visiting nursing homes to talk with our Nation's Veterans.  Accompanying Barbara on her visits is her Border Collie "Harley", who is very active.  "When he enters a nursing home, he gets down to business, he is very calm and will walk in a room and rest his chin on someone's lap.  I have not had much time in the last year to do this, as I was buried in this book.  I am back doing this now that the book is finished, as it is very important to me to talk with our Veterans and show them how much we care and thank them for protecting our country.  It is my way of "giving back."
September 2013 UPDATE:  October 3, 2012 my border collie "Harley" passed away. He was 12 years old. He was suffering from a brain stem tumor they believe. He could no longer walk or stand up and I just could not bare to see him suffer anymore. He was my best friend. I held him as he was put down and he licked my hand, as if he were telling me it was okay and I knew then that I would see him again one day.
One month later on November 3, 2012 I found myself driving to Kalamazoo, Michigan from Chicago to Northstar Border Collie Rescue and I truly believe "Harley" had something to do with this, as I thought I would never have another dog. I met a 6 month old black and white border collie and he had me at the hug. I have had him 10 months now and he is training to be a search and rescue dog (SAR).
Barbara has been a licensed Real Estate Broker since 1991, which she practices on the weekends.  She is presently employed full time by a major Corporation in the Chicagoland area as a Real Estate Specialist/Executive Assistant.  She was also a  licensed Volunteer EMT/Paramedic for four years. 
"Though I am not a writer or journalist, I wrote this book from my heart, as I feel very connected to my grandfather.  I do not believe anyone has to be a "writer" to create a book in order to get their feelings across".  
"I frequently travel down to Carter County, Kentucky to visit Matthew’s Estate “Blakemore” and my brother John who just moved there in 2012.  I visit with my many new friends and go power parachute flying.  It is not so much as to fly, but I want to learn the mechanics behind flight...... Okay....... yes, flying would be okay too."

This book is dedicated to the memory of my father,
WWII Naval Commander (ret.) John Clark Sellers "Jack". 
He passed away on July 6, 2008, just twelve weeks after
hearing the reading of a Resolution declaring
March 29th (Matthew's Birthday) "Matthew B. Sellers, II Day"
in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfurt .
I am so glad that he had the chance to finally see his father get the
recognition that he so long deserved.  He was inurned with my mother
with a full military honors service at Arlington National Cemetery in
Arlington, Virginia on October 8th, 2008.
Jack was diagnosed with stage IV small cell lung cancer.  He never smoked.  
They say the other way of contracting small cell lung cancer is by being exposed to radon.
The doctors said that this type of cancer would respond very well to chemo and radiation.
While on his way to an almost full recovery, after receiving chemo and
radiation treatments, he contracted C-diff, a terrible infection,
at the fault of the nursing home he was rehabilitating in, which caused his death .
My mother never knew she had colon cancer
 until it was at stage IV and they said it was to late.
But she fought it with chemo/radiation treatment
and lived for another two years. 
              My mother died in 2004.
Gail and Jack were married 57 years!


Jack in 1944 USN Lt. Commander


Gail and Jack 1961-Aurora, Canada


Jack and Gail 1969-Barrington, Illinois


Gail-Corona del Mar, California 1987


Jack and Barbara in 2007

Gail and Jack, Hilton Head Island for Jack's 80th Birthday