Pre-Race Buzz

The article attached here was published in the June 3, 1909 Indianapolis News and is part of the paper's ongoing buildup to the June 5, 1909 national balloon championship race hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The article ledes with information about the general size of out-of-state aero club delegations. The suggestion is that the St. Louis club would account for the largest group of followers as they had chartered train cars for members to consolidate their energy for impact. However, the conventional wisdom was that the eastern pilots such as A. Holland Forbes in the New York or Captain Thomas Baldwin in the Hoosier would prevail. Both Forbes and Baldwin were from New York.
Indiana's favorite son was Carl Fisher with his mentor and assistant Captain George L. Bumbaugh in the Indiana. This article includes the prediction that the wind currents would take balloons on a northeastern path as did another report from June 1. These predictions, like many concerning climate, proved false. The Chicago is noted as the largest balloon in the race but this article states its capacity is 120,000 cubic feet, a full 10,000 greater than other reports. Another interesting point is that in this article the handicap event for the Chicago, the Indianapolis and the Ohio is referred to as the Indiana Club Handicap.

BalloonNews060309.pdf4.06 MB