The Brickyard Lures Aviators

The article in attachment Curtiss101009 originally appeared in the October 10, 1909 Indianapolis Star. While the headline focuses on America's biggest aviation star Glenn Curtiss' pending arrival in the city to visit the Indianapolis Motor Speedway several other prominent figures in the field are noted as well. Note that while this article indicates that Curtiss was expected in town that morning an article in the same publication the next day indicates that he had yet to arrive. A previously announced fall aviation show had been cancelled on October 1.
Curtiss was riding the wave of his popularity created by his victory at the Rheims, France international aviation show just weeks earlier in August. The highlight of that triumphant week was Curtiss' victory in the prestigious James Gordon Bennett Cup for airplanes. Traveling with Curtiss was industrialist Arthur Pratt Warner who had recently purchased a 25 HP airplane from the champion pilot. The group was arriving from St. Louis where Curtiss provided a flight exhibition.
Also arriving in town was Joseph "J.W." Curzon (his name is misspelled in the article as "Curson") who is described as, "a young millionaire theatrical manager." Curzon was fascinated with flying and had purchased a biplane designed by famed aviator and auto racer Henri Farman. Three more prominent names in in aviation arriving in town were Captain Thomas Baldwin, Roy Knabenshue* and Lincoln Beachey. Baldwin was a noted balloonist who according to the article had government contracts to provide such vessels to the military. Knabenshue was described as a "boy aeronaut" know for his deft handling of motorized dirigibles while Beachey was a premier stunt airplane pilot.
Speedway Director of Contests Ernie Moross was extending offers to prominent aviation pioneers free use of the Speedway for their development work. Expectations at the time was that Curtiss would construct his planes for customers on Speedway grounds and conduct flight training lessons.
With the vessels and equipment of all these individuals stored at the Speedway the article asserts that the largest and best collection of such machines in the country was in Indianapolis. Keep in mind that it was during this time that the Speedway's huge brick-paving project was underway.
*More interesting info on Knabenshue.

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