Alfred Lawson

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{service, military, aircraft}
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Alfred William Lawson (March 24, 1869 – November 29, 1954) was a professional baseball player, manager and league promoter from 1887 through 1916 and went on to play a pioneering role in the U.S. aircraft industry, publishing two early aviation trade journals. In 1904, he also wrote a novel, Born Again, clearly inspired by the popular Utopian fantasy Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, an early harbinger of the metaphysical turn his career would take with the theory of Lawsonomy. He is frequently cited as the inventor of the airliner[1] and was awarded several of the first air mail contracts, which he ultimately could not fulfill. He founded the Lawson Aircraft Company in Green Bay, Wisconsin, to build military training aircraft and later the Lawson Airplane Company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to build airliners.[2] The crash of his ambitious "Midnight Liner" during its trial flight takeoff on May 8, 1921, ended his best chance for commercial aviation success.


Baseball career

He made one start for the Boston Braves and two for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys during the 1890 season. His minor league playing career lasted through 1895. He later managed in the minors from 1905-1907.

In 1908 he was involved in trying to start a new professional baseball league, the "Union Professional League" which took the field in April but folded one month later.[3]


In the 1920s, he promoted health practices including vegetarianism and claimed to have found the secret of living to 200. He also developed his own highly unusual theories of physics, according to which such concepts as "penetrability", "suction and pressure" and "zig-zag-and-swirl" were discoveries on par with Einstein's Theory of Relativity.[4] He published numerous books on these concepts, all set in a distinctive typography. Lawson repeatedly predicted the worldwide adoption of Lawsonian principles by the year 2000.

He later propounded his own philosophy—Lawsonomy—and the Lawsonian religion. He also developed, during the Great Depression, the populist economic theory of "Direct Credits", according to which banks are the cause of all economic woe, the oppressors of both capital and labour. Lawson believed that the government should replace banks as the provider of loans to business and workers. His rallies and lectures attracted thousands of listeners in the early 30s, mainly in the upper Midwest, but by the late 30s the crowds had dwindled.

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