In 1904 Alfred William Lawson wrote Born Again, a novel clearly inspired by the popular Utopian fantasy Looking Backward by Edward Bellamy, an early harbinger of the metaphysical turn his career would take. He is frequently cited as the inventor of the airliner and was awarded several of the first air mail contracts, which he ultimately could not fulfill. In the 1920s, he promoted health practices including vegetarianism and claimed to have found the secret of living to 200. He also developed his own highly unusual theories of physics, according to which such concepts as "penetrability," "suction and pressure" and "zig-zag-andswirl" were discoveries on par with Einstein's Theory of Relativity. He later propounded his own philosophy-Lawsonomy-and the Lawsonian religion. He was a professional baseball player, manager and league promoter from 1887 through 1916 and went on to play a pioneering role in the US aircraft industry, publishing two early aviation trade journals.