The Ninety-Nines are self-described as an “international organization of women pilots that promotes advancement of women in aviation through education, scholarships, and mutual support while honoring our unique history and sharing our passion for flight.” Annually, on a limited basis, their efforts include an airmark program.Modern planes of all sizes are equipped with radios and navigation equipment, but for more than three decades, when airmarks were needed to advance aviation through an uncertain future, folks in the Adirondacks and foothills answered the call.The Oval Wood Dish Company was founded in 1883 in Delta, Ohio.Four years later, the company relocated to Mancelona, Michigan.Jefferson County—the Cleveland Block in Adams, the IBC Farm Machinery Building at Carthage. Essex County—the state Department of Public Works sheds at Elizabethtown, Minerva Central School at Olmstedville. Lawrence County—La Vair’s Garage at Helena, the General Ice Cream Corporation at North Lawrence, the Morley Grange Hall at Morley, the post office at De Grasse, the coal storage sheds at Rensselaer Falls. Pilots frequently crossed those areas getting from one place to another, and were forced to memorize certain mountain shapes or skylines to navigate.
In 1948, an unnamed army major was flying from New York City to Pine Camp (later Fort Drum) near Watertown.
Those plans took a turn in 1913 when two of the company’s executives vacationed in the Adirondacks.
Seeing the vast amounts of local hardwood, the company moved instead to Tupper Lake, New York in 1918.
The firm was successful; by 1899, the plant was using thirteen million feet of lumber annually, and its wooden bowls were in “every grocery store in the nation.”Success had its price, as the local timber supplies began to run out.
Oval Wood Dish planned to move again, to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.