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Harper, Arthur Frederic Monnier
Monnier Harper – 1912
(Arthur) Monnier Harper was born 17-8-1888 in Belfast and was a violin virtuoso, making his public debut at the age of eleven. Probably in 1904 he settled with his mother and brother in Brussels, and at the age of sixteen played in the orchestra of the Ostende Kurhaus. In the following years he performed as a soloist in France, The Netherlands, England, Northern Ireland and Belgium. Monnier Harper also played with the Residentie Orchestra of The Hague during one season (probably 1913-14).
In 1911 he settled in Scheveningen, being appointed Dutch representative of the Weston Hurlin Co., a supplier of aircraft components and founder of flying schools. The Dutch aviation pioneer Adriaan Mulder had been his flying instructor.
Louis Blériot, in his Type XI monoplane, flew across the English Channel from Les Baraques, near Calais, to Northfall Meadow at Dover on Sunday, 25 July 1909, winning the Daily Mail challenge prize of £1,000. Monnier Harper was inspired.
Lodewijk Muns, writing on the NMI website, notes that 1909 was also the year of the first flight over Dutch territory.

It wasn’t by Monnier Harper.
De Dordrechtsche Courant, 17 August 1909, page 2:
‘On Friday on the heath at Vaassenschenweg, Messrs Elbe Rieciel and Arthur Monnier Harper, violinists from Apeldoorn, tried out their homemade flying machine.

‘At first, the machine quite often refused to budge, but with some helpful hands it finally began to move beyond this earthly vale of tears.

‘However, the unevenness of the terrain made the colossus waver and with a thump it smashed into the hillside, crushing the two bicycles which provided the forward momentum.

‘Fortunately, the two pilots were unhurt.
Arthur Monnier Harper died 1-1-1916.

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