Fisher at the YMCA

The article in attachment IMSaero102009 was originally published in the Indianapolis Star on October 20, 1909. This was during a time that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was both paving its track with brick and also positioning its facility as America's aviation capital.
This article reports on a presentation to 300 boys at the Indianapolis Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) by Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher and his ballooning mentor George L. Bumbaugh along with amateur pilot Joseph "J.W." Curzon. The three speakers were introduced by A.K. Jones, secretary of the Indianapolis YMCA. The idea was to fuel the interest of young men in the emerging field of aviation.
Fisher was the first speaker and provided an overview of aviation and the types of vessels used. He introduced a contest to produce the best model airplane with a first place prize of $25 in gold and a silver trophy. Fisher assured the boys they would have an ample supply of literature, pictures and diagrams to guide their work.
Curzon (his name is misspelled as "Kurzon"), a New Yorker, who was storing his Farman airplane at the Speedway, was the second speaker. His talk was more technical and described what forces lift an airplane from the ground and how to maneuver it in flight. Stressing the dangers and the challenges of different weather conditions he told the boys that extensive study is essential before attempting to pilot a machine.
The final speaker was Bumbaugh who stressed clean living habits as part of the requirment for taking flight. Bumbaugh is quoted in the article:
"First of all, boys, let me impress upon you the cardinal principle needed before you can be a bird-man. That is, you must have clean habits in life. If you ever want to be an aviator do use tobacco and leave liquor alone. Otherwise you will not be a success in cloud activities."
Bumbaugh used visual aids to support his talk. The article says he employed "stereopticon pictures" projected on a canvas hung above the assembly room stage. He showed pictures of every type of flying machine and explained how they were constructed and operated. Apparently Bumbaugh was entertaining as he wove exciting stories based on personal experience throughout a talk that was still technical.
Bumbaugh showed several pictures of the June 1909 National Championship Balloon Race held at the Speedway. These included images of Dr. Goethe Link and his assistant Russe J. Irvin who won the handicap race. Keep in mind that it was during this time that the Speedway's huge brick-paving project was underway.

IMSaero102009.pdf1.02 MB