Film of First Indianapolis 500


If you're reading my home page, click on "continue reading" link below to check out this vintage video of the first Indianapolis 500 in 1911 and my follow-up comments. Otherwise, just click on the video. This one is a little rougher than the one you can see at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway's Website (and I had posted as a featured video early this year), but it does have some footage not contained there. And thanks to racing historian Tim Lopata for bringing this nice piece of racing history to my attention. Also, please note that this film was originally posted to Click the arrow in the upper right corner of the video box to expand to full screen.

Thinking about the technology of those early racing days, it's easy to forget that there were a lot of smart people doing some pretty amazing things - and creating innovations that drove exciting new industries: telecommunications, air travel and, of course, the automotive industry. For example, 30 telegraph operators were at the epicenter of a state-of-the-art communications network at the Speedway's pagoda, sending reports from the historic event to newspapers throughout the continent. Also, there was an aerial view of a portion of the Indianapolis 500, if only for a handful of people in a giant gas balloon. Imagine looking down on the track to see the likes of Ray Harroun's mustard colored Marmon Wasp, the Italian-red Fiat of David Bruce-Brown, Johnny Aitken's dark navy blue National or the green Cole cars. Below is a link to a film birth by another nascent technology of the day: the motion picture.