Your very own little piece of Fokker history

Posted by at 14:41

On Thursday, 1 September 1911 – more than a century ago – the people of Haarlem heard a strange humming sound overhead. The crowd on the square around the St. Bavo Church looked up and saw what seemed to be a gigantic, black bird. From above, Anthony Fokker, a citizen of Haarlem, looked down from his self-built “Spin” (spider in Dutch), laughing ecstatically as he circled the church steeple, before flying off.

Can you imagine what it must have been like? How wonderful? How incredible it must have been for the people of Haarlem to suddenly see such a large flying machine passing overhead? Anthony Fokker must have been overjoyed. He was airborne!

Fokker 1911

KLM huisje 98

Up in the sky

Exactly 106 years, one month and six days after Fokker’s pioneering flight, I find myself at that historical site once more: the St. Bavo Church in Haarlem. When I look up, I can well imagine what a sight and sound it must have been back then.

When I step into the church on this special day (Friday the 6th of October), I hear the familiar theme tune of the animated movie “Up”. A bunch of balloons is floating around the church, carrying a tiny package. Inside it is KLM’s 98th Delftware miniature house. The audience looks up in breathless awe, heaving a sigh of relief when KLM CEO Pieter Elbers has the package safely in his hands. No doubt Anthony Fokker breathed a similar sigh of relief 106 years ago, when he landed safely back on terra firma once more.

Anthony Fokker’s childhood home

KLM latest miniature house is a replica of Kleine Houtweg No. 65 in Haarlem, where Anthony Fokker spent his youth from the age of four. His parents had returned to the Netherlands from the Dutch East Indies with little “Tony” and his sister Toos. The stately mansion was then located at Kleine Houtweg No. 41, which changed to No. 65 when the street numbering was altered in 1935.

The attic at the front of the house became Anthony’s domain. The attic had a window overlooking the park. It was from here that he launched his earliest self-made model planes. Using paperclips to improve the aerodynamics, he watched his own creations fly far into the park. Many years later, in the 1920s, he became one of the world’s leading aircraft manufacturers, with factories in the Netherlands as well as the United States.

Huis fokker

End of the Fokker Era

It is no coincidence that KLM has modelled its 98th Delftware miniature on the Fokker’s stately home, overlooking a lush, green park in Haarlem. At the end of October 2017, KLM Cityhopper will bid a fond farewell to its very last Fokker aircraft. In short, the new miniature house is a lasting memento to the 97-year partnership between KLM and this great Dutch aircraft manufacturer; a means of sharing a little piece of Fokker history with our passengers.

KLM huisje 98

An app for all the pretty houses

Did you know that we’re working on a new app for the KLM miniatures? You can use it to keep track of your collection by scanning each new house with your smartphone. You’ll be able to add the new house to your online collection as soon as you receive it on board. The app will show you where the house is located, give you information about its history and allow you to add your own notes and remarks, much like a diary in which you can record the flight on which you received the house and other useful or interesting information.

And if you’re visiting Amsterdam in the near future, why not take a walk along the KLM Miniatures Route, which leads past more than 50 houses in the collection, including several special editions.

I’ll be giving KLM House No. 98 a special place in my room, marking the start of my collection…

Oh, and check out my vlog about the KLM houses below!

26 Responses to Your very own little piece of Fokker history

  1. Steef van den Berg

    Great idea to have the house of birth from our great aviator Fokker.
    I simply have to have it….

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Steef,

      I hope you’ll receive it soon!

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  2. Hendrix a de Gruijter-van Kleef

    So, we flew business class this morning from Amsterdam to Florence. Did not get any of your houses. .

  3. G

    Nice blog! Yet, Anthony Fokker was born in Indonesia, then moved to Germany. Only after the first world war he moved to the Netherlands and became an icon for Dutch aviation.

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi G!

      We’re very sorry for this mistake. We’ve corrected the sentence.

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  4. Joann W. Lutz

    I ve been waiting on this presentation all year. Where do I go to purchase house and how much? I have all 97 and have been buying from a person in the Netherlands. Would like to do business with you. I LOVE MY HOUSES.

    Joann W. Lutz
    busterm11@belllsouth.net

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Joann,

      Unfortunately it’s not possible to buy KLM houses from KLM. The only way to get one is by flying business class. Hope you’ll receive number 98 soon!

      Happy you love our houses so much!

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  5. EMUAKPEJEKESSENA

    hi klm

  6. Chris Erdtsieck

    Sorry ladies and gentlemen, kindly correct…
    The great pioneer was not born in Haarlem, but in Kediri, Java, former Netherlands East Indies.
    Antonij Herman Gerard (Anthony) Fokker (Kediri, 6 april 1890 – New York, 23 december 1939)

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Chris,

      So sorry for this mistake. Unfortunately it was made during translation. We’ve corrected it! Hope you still liked reading this blog.

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  7. Rick Payne

    Love this blog!!! Now show us cooking the meals and loading the plane!!!

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Rick!

      Thank you for your suggestions and your love for this blog. We do have a video about KLM Catering Services: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YNQ-seTW6Ek You might enjoy watching it!

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  8. Dan Gradwohl

    Anthony Fokker was born in Blitar, East Java, Dutch East Indies (NOT Haarlem!).

    Thank you for correcting,

    Dan

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Dan,

      Thank you for you attentiveness. Unfortunately it’s simply a ”lost in translation” mistake. I’ve corrected it. I hope you’ve still enjoyed reading the piece!

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  9. Jorge Rojas

    Flying on board KLM from Santiago-Amsterdam, my sister gift me a pair!!!!….it is now in my house………………

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Jorge,

      Lucky you! Enjoy your unique KLM Houses.

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  10. Tunji Olukayode

    Niet een pic or drawing of the epic flight or “Spin”! Not a great way of celebrating history!

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Tunji,

      Great suggestion! We’ve added a picture of the memorable moment he flew over Haarlem.

      Thanks, Annelinde.

  11. Linda Stoneman

    I love these houses. I have never flown first. Class klm, would love to! I have around 15 of these houses. It would be great to have information on each house. The blog and how the houses are produced and packed off to the airport is great, really enjoyed watching that.

    Maybe an article on Delft pottery. Tulip vases.

  12. Daniel

    Can I buy one?

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi Daniel,

      Unfortunately you can’t buy the KLM houses. Only if you’re flying business class, you’re able to get the houses.
      Hope you’ll receive one!

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  13. David Harris

    Enjoyed this video, thank you!

    • Annelinde Hoogendam

      Hi David,

      Thank you so much!

      Kind regards, Annelinde

  14. PP

    I wonder what house will be used for the centennial anniversary….

  15. Tina

    I totally loved reading this! Thanks so much

    I’ve been collecting the KLM houses for about 15yrs now I think…ive got them displayed with pride in my dining room & love telling the story behind them if I can, I really enjoy the reaction I get. If I get over enthusiastic I insist on getting out the little brochure showing the map & rant on about how ‘one day I’ll go there’

    They are the ‘one’ thing along with photos I’ve always said I’d save in an emergancy ☺️

    Can’t wait for the App to be launched!..said years ago “wish someone would hurry up & invent one!”

    Thanks again for the history & great blog..I’m off to watch the YouTube video now, on how these little
    Blue Beauties are made ✌

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