That’s the question I had to answer.
One of my distant cousins, Catherine McSweegan, daughter of Thomas McSweegan and Catherine Kelly, married a man named B.F. Baddeley. That “B.F.” drove me crazy. What did it stand for?
I researched different records to see if I could uproot his first and middle name. I eventually found documents listing “Benjamin Franklin Baddeley”. Oh my, who would name their son Benjamin Franklin? Can you imagine the ribbing he endured as a child?
Well, an article in the San Francisco Chronicle answered my question. B.F.’s father was Henry Baddeley. And, he was an inventor.
Benjamin Franklin Baddeley’s Father was an inventor. He owned the Baddeley Air Ship Company. They were working on a cigar shape air craft when Henry died. So, his Father was one of many racing to get a flying machine in the air before the Wright Brothers.
I wish I could find out more about the Baddeley Air Ship Company. Benjamin was a carpenter and later a foreman for a pickle company. He had several siblings, but I don’t have any indication any of them were involved in the Father’s business.
I picture Henry Baddeley as a bit of an eccentric, working tirelessly to be one of those men in a flying machine. Perhaps he invented other things before getting into the business of air ships. He certainly seems like a man who would name his son Benjamin Franklin!