Fisher's Ballooning Enthusiasm

The article in the attachment appeared in the June 18, 1909 Indianapolis Star. It is a brief item and a follow-up on the national balloon championship hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier in the month. The article was generated by comments made by Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher who competed as pilot of the balloon Indiana in the event. It was his first competition as a pilot, having completed the requirements for a license just days before the event. Fisher was assisted by his mentor Captain George L. Bumbaugh a widely respected pilot and constructor of balloons. The men were the last competitors to retire from the race but their event was both harrowing and controversial. Fisher provided a first hand account of their ordeal in a June 20 article published two days after this one.
In this article Fisher comes across as particularly jazzed about his first balloon competition. In his typical bravado style he talks about setting new world records for distance and endurance. He also talks about winning all the major competition trophies including the famous Lahm Cup, named in honor of one of America's great aviation heroes, Frank Purdy Lahm who won the first international balloon race - the James Gordon Bennett Cup - in 1906.
Another significant point of this article is insufficiently explored. Nonetheless it is another example of Fisher's fascination with aviation. Whoever wrote this piece talked to Fisher in Richmond, Indiana when he was on his way to an event referred to as the "Wright celebration" in Dayton, Ohio. Fisher was courting the Wright Brothers to bring their aviation show to the Speedway and would eventually succeed. Check out more information the spectacular Wright celebration of June 1909.

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