As I was on break for a meeting as a Startup Weekend Organizer I was surprised to see a sign with Vin Fiz on it. If you’ve read my book or know anything about my book, you’ll know that the first section leads with the story of the Vin Fiz Flyer.
This is especially interesting to me because it validates the message in my book where we know about the Vin Fiz airplane but we don’t necessarily know why the 1911 Wright Flyer is called the Vin Fiz flyer.
If you haven’t read my book, first I recommend that you do. Second, I’ll tell you the Vin Fiz flyer was called that because of a sponsorship from Armour and Company and their new Vin Fiz grape drink sold at all soda fountains. It was touted as the “Ideal Grape Drink.”
In reality, it tasted like a cross between “horse slop and river sludge” and you had to “sneak up on it to get it down.”
The real power of the Vin Fiz was the fact that Cal obtained the sponsorship so that he could fly across the country. Without his tenacity, who knows when Austin’s aviation history it would have started. But, it probably wouldn’t have a sign that doesn’t real capture the full meaning of that historic flight.
It’s too bad the grape drink was so awful or we might see a picture of the logo on the wall and not just Cal’s name.