Airshow & International Aspirations

The article in attachment IMSaero091509 was originally published in the September 15, 1909 Indianapolis Star. The lead focuses on the liklihood that Charles H. Warner, who with his brother Arthur Pratt Warner founded the Warner Electric Instrument Company, would enter the planned aviation meet at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway October 14-16.
The bulk of the article reports on the burgeoning interest across America in hosting aviation shows and speculates on the likely venue for the James Gordon Bennett Cup airplane competition to be hosted in the United States in 1910. Consistent with Bennett Cup precedent in auto racing and ballooning the home country of the winner would host the contest the following year. American Glenn Curtiss won the Bennett Cup at the first international show in Rheims, France in August 1909.
The Warners were aviation enthusiasts but a curious aspect of this report is that Charles is mentioned as the owner of the plane in question, a Glenn Curtiss built machine. In subsequent articles it is Arthur Pratt Warner mentioned and it is generally held he was the more accomplished pilot. I suspect this is an error in this article and it was Arthur all along as the owner of the plane. Regardless the Speedway's 1909 aviation show never materialized although an aviation was staged in June 1910.
The article reports that many cities across America - St. Louis and Cincinnati are specifically mentioned - were vying for quality aviation shows in general and the honor of hosting the next international show in particular. In the style of journalism sensational absolutism of the day the article says, " is certain that the world will be given a duplicate to the great Rheims meet here in this city."
Despite this the article singles out a particular challenger - the site of America's first great auto race, the Vanderbilt Cup. The American Aero Club (AAC) had recently reached an agreement with the Long Island Motor Parkway for a section of ground near Garden City was reserved as the club's aviation field. The Star however pointed to the Speedway's permanent facilites such as grandstands and aerodromes as distinct advantages in cost savings of staging the competition.
Planning was on hold until the American Aero Club President Cortlandt Field Bishop returned from the international balloon race - the James Gordon Bennett Cup for ballooning - at Zurich, Switzerland on October 8. Bishop had agreed to act as aid to balloon pilot Edgar W. Mix, an American vessel designed the previous year for James (John?) E. McCoy. For whatever reason Bishop eventually did not serve as Mix' aid.
Money, as always, was the lynchpin to making things happen. Long time AAC official Alan R. Hawley urged the  development of a $100,000 fund for the development of aeronautics in the United States. The fear was that foreign aviators were unenthusiatic about the time consuming and expensive trip to America to compete for the Bennett Cup. The general belief was that the circumstance created an opening for European organizations to create more lucrative events on the Continent that would siphon off the best of the overseas performers. The Bennett Cup offered prestige and a $5,000 cash prize.
This attachment also contains several grainy images of planes of the day. They were captured at the Rheims show. They are, in order: a Curtiss bi-plane, Louis Paulhan in a Voisin, Hubert Latham in an Antoinette monoplane, Roger Sommer in a Farman airplane and Louis Bleriot in one his own machines. Keep in mind that it was during this time that the Speedway's huge brick-paving project was underway.

IMSaero091509.pdf2.14 MB