|John Valentine Pliska
|Pliska, John Valentine
|Texas & Baird St.
|inventors and inventions; aviation
|Recorded Texas Historic Landmark
|SW corner of Texas Ave. & Baird St., Midland
|18" x 28"
|Mechanical genius who made and flew first locally-owned aircraft. Born in Austria, Pliska came with parents to Texas, and after 1903 followed blacksmith trade in Midland. He built (1912) and flew at intervals up to 15 minutes an aeroplane of his own invention. (plane now in museum at Midland-Odessa air terminal.) Pliska was a master Smith. Gen. John J. Pershing had U. S. Army horses shod here during border trouble prior to World War I. Branding irons for a large west Texas area were also made here. Pliska married Louis Hundle. They had seven children.