Fisher's Airplane Businesses

The kinetic mind of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher probably amazed and sometimes confounded his friends and associates. In 1909 he literally willed the creation of the giant track. In the course of little more than four months, the 2.5-mile oval was complete with 41 buildings or structures that had sprouted up out of Indiana farmland. One would think that challenge enough but at the same time he was president of the Prest-O-Lite Company and Fisher Automobile Company the leading automobile dealership and service center in Indianapolis - but wait, there's more...
In addition to starting the Empire car company, Fisher, fascinated with the emerging technologies and commercial implications for air travel, decided to get into the airplane construction business. Apparently, Fisher believed that the airplane would proliferate on the consumer level much in the same way the automobile was doing. Whether he saw a world of people flying from the country to the city to go shopping is only conjecture but the vision in his mind was clearly different from what emerged in the coming years. From the two attached Indianapolis News articles below he must have had trouble convincing his usual circle of business partners to dive in with both feet. As a result, two businesses emerged. One focused on engines, the other on the airplane structure.
The engine company apparently looked more promising to other local businessmen and he was joined in that venture by his Speedway partners Arthur Newby, Frank Wheeler and James Allison as well as the track's Director of Contests, Ernie Moross. Other partners included Howard Marmon of the car manufacturing concern Nordyke & Marmon (later Marmon Motor Company) and William G. Wall. As for the airplane construction business, no partners were listed.
While there is no evidence either of these ventures was met with any significant success it is worthy of note that Carl Fisher's airplane business built the first airplane ever constructed in Indianapolis - in 1909. The plane was built at the Fisher Automobile Company.

IMSaero120909.pdf1019.22 KB
FisherAeroNews121109.pdf418.43 KB