William League (1907-1986), is widely acknowledged as the first
U.S. air traffic controller with his claim to the first air traffic
controller largely unchallenged. After becoming a licensed airplane
and engine mechanic, flying and barnstorming around Illinois and
Missouri with his own 'flying circus' , Archie was hired by the
city to direct the growing air traffic at St. Louis's Lambert Field.
His "control tower" was a wheelbarrow on which he mounted a beach
umbrella for the summer heat. In it he carried a beach chair, his
lunch, water, a note pad and a pair of signal flags to direct the
aircraft either to 'GO' or 'HOLD'. In the winters, he wore a padded
flying suit to keep warm out on the field.