1910 Boland 1e-v at the Mineola fair grounds in 1914
Francis Edward Boland
BornJuly 31, 1873
DiedJanuary 3, 1913(1913-01-03) (aged 39)
Joseph John Boland
Born(1879-05-27)May 27, 1879
DiedSeptember 12, 1964(1964-09-12) (aged 85)
James Paul Boland
Born(1882-08-20)August 20, 1882
DiedDecember 19, 1967(1967-12-19) (aged 85)

Frank Edward Boland (July 31, 1873 – January 3, 1913), James Paul Boland (August 20, 1882 – December 19, 1967) and Joseph John Boland (May 27, 1879 – September 12, 1964) were early aircraft designers from Rahway, New Jersey who started the Boland Airplane and Motor Company.[1][2][3]


They were the children of James Francis Boland (1834–1913) and Catherine Julia Kavanaugh (1843–1925).

They had set records for bicycle racing in 1898.[4] In 1904, Frank and Joseph, started a business servicing bicycles, motorcycles, and automobiles in Rahway.[5]

Frank Boland was killed in on January 23, 1913, during an exhibition flight in Trinidad.[6] They worked with tailless aircraft that were early predecessors of flying wings. A scale model of their plane is in the Smithsonian.[7]

In 1914, the Aeromarine Plane and Motor Company of Avondale, New Jersey, took over the manufacturing rights of all Boland airplanes and engines.[8][9]


E.T. Wooldridge writes: "The Boland brothers were a relatively small, but extraordinary, part of early aviation history in the United States. Frank supplied the enthusiasm, ingenuity, and self-taught flying ability; Joseph provided the mechanical genius to transform ideas into some tangible, workable form; and James had the business sense so often lacking in ventures of that sort."[8]

During the 1997-1998 and 1998-1999 contest years, the Boland Brothers team, composed of a great-grand-nephew and great-great-grandnephew of the Boland brothers, competed in the National Association of Rocketry at the regional and national levels, setting no fewer than two US model rocket performance records,[10] and finishing in third place overall for the 1998-1999 season.[11]

In Popular Culture

Frank Boland's ill-fated flight in Port-of-Spain is referenced in Bruce Geddes' historical novel, Chasing the Black Eagle.



See also


  1. ^ "Boland brothers". Syracuse Herald. September 27, 1908. Frank E. Boland of Rahway is the man. He has already built an aeroplane and hopes to make his first flight within The next three weeks. ...
  2. ^ There was also a John Andrew Boland, born on 8 August 1878 who worked at their garage.
  3. ^ "Eleanor Bartels a Bride. Married in Church at Rahway, New Jersey, to Joseph A. Kenna". The New York Times. November 21, 1938. Miss Eleanor M. Bartels, niece of James P. Boland and Miss Helen F. Boland of this place, was married to Joseph A. Kenna, son of Mrs. Katherine Kenna, also of this city, in St. Mary's Catholic Church here yesterday.
  4. ^ "Bicycle Meet at Plainfield. Fast Time Made at the Riverdale Field Club's Races". The New York Times. September 25, 1898. Plainfield, New Jersey; September 24, 1898. A drizzling rain set in this afternoon when the second amateur race meet of the Riverdale Field Club at the Crescent Oval was half concluded, but despite that fact the races were continued and run off according to the programme. The track was in poor shape, but the riders did well, and made close finishes in every event.
  5. ^ Aerial Age. Aero Club of Illinois. 1912. The old Boland aircraft, crude as it was, has a distinct place in the progressive ... In 1908 Frank Roland of Rahway, New Jersey built a tailless airplane that flew ...
  6. ^ "Accidente Aéreo de Frank Boland". Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. Retrieved 2007-02-14.
  7. ^ "Annual Report of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution". Smithsonian. 1965. Boland, Joseph, Frederick, Maryland: A scale model, constructed by himself, of the Boland Tailless Pusher airplane developed by him and his brothers at Rahway, New Jersey ...
  8. ^ a b "History of the Flying Wing". Retrieved 2007-07-14.
  9. ^ "Joseph Boland, 85, Aviation Pioneer". The New York Times. September 13, 1964. Retrieved 2007-06-21.
  10. ^ "US Rocketry Records". Archived from the original on 2008-02-22. Retrieved 2008-03-10.
  11. ^ "Final 1998-1999 NAR points list". Archived from the original on 2011-04-28. Retrieved 2008-03-10.