What were some of Charles Lindbergh's accomplishments

Hemmer and Meßner tell: A little story about Lindbergh and the human machine

There's one thing with celebrity: Either it doesn't come at all - or it doesn't come what you think. Not only can Goethe sing a song about this, who considered his (false!) Color theory and scientific discoveries to be his lasting legacy. A certain Charles Lindbergh, a Pulitzer Prize-winning pilot with pop star appeal, is more known for his non-stop Atlantic crossing than for his, from today's perspective, somewhat problematic heart project around the perfect human machine.

The young Charles, born in Detroit in 1902, is not the first person to be denied a career in medicine with bad school grades - nor will he be the last. What distinguishes him from other prevented medical students are his great recklessness and the ambition with which he threw himself on an unexpected alternative career.

Since it couldn't be the human machine that he was allowed to deal with, he turned to other machines without further ado. Those who have literally always inspired people's imagination: the flying machines. After training as a mechanic and several jobs in connection with aviation, he professionally transported mail as a post operator before he took the risky flight at the tender age of 25 that would make him a world star overnight. In 1927 he did not succeed in the very first non-stop Atlantic crossing (others had already done so in 1919). But one can say that he succeeded in the most spectacular one of the time, namely: without a co-pilot, without radio communication and even without a windshield! That was enough to lure more than 100,000 French men and women to the small Le Bourget airfield, who in their enthusiasm almost trampled the bold young pilot to death.

Everyone flies on Lindbergh

At a time when the First World War and its aerial battles were still having an impact and the "knights of the air" were revered as pop stars are today, Lindbergh became a star overnight. He fascinated the masses. US President Calvin Coolidge had him picked up by warship in France and greeted with a parade in New York City, and he also received the Medal of Honor - the highest military award in the United States. These events, which shaped the dreams of an entire generation, were to be immortalized by Lindberg 26 years later in his book "The Spirit of St. Louis" (1953), which was named after his faithful aircraft and which won him the Pulitzer Prize the following year.

Lindbergh, who did not let the very real possibility of crashing alone over the Atlantic deter him from his risk, also thought beyond borders in other areas. He was tempted to try the "previously impossible" and to cross borders. According to his own statement, during the 33.5 hours in the cockpit he had a kind of spiritual enlightenment that made him feel immortal. "If humans manage to fly, what keeps them from living forever?" He asked himself, sharing the general belief in technology of his time. In his search for immortality, he was by no means alone: ​​While the subject has been at the top of mankind's wish lists for a long time, in 1930 it was a very concrete contemporary, indeed one of the most famous scientists of his time, who tried precisely this Aim to get closer. It is none other than the Nobel Prize winner Alexis Carrel, US scientist with French roots, whom Lindbergh got to know through this shared passion for the complex human machine.

A modern Dr. Frankenstein

Carrel conducted research at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in Manhattan, the first biomedical institute in the United States, founded in 1901, where the primary focus was on infectious diseases. However, Carrel received the Nobel Prize for his research into blood vessel transplantation. A medical breakthrough that seemed to bring his idea of ​​the human being as "a machine with constantly repairable or replaceable parts" within reach.