Glenn Curtiss

Earlier reported as an entry in the August 1909 motorcycle race meet at the new Indianapolis Motor Speedway the man in this photo, Glenn Curtiss, later was ready to move in another direction. This image was published in the August 8, 1909, Indianapolis Star and reported that Curtiss had left the country to compete in Aero Club of France air races. Curtiss was the consummate "motorhead" of early days and would become better known for his many significant contributions to the aviation industry.
As an aside, this photo was taken by the pioneering photojournalist George Grantham Bain. He photographed a wide variety of subjects, including the most popular images of race drivers Joe Dawson and Bob Burman. To be clear, the images of the two drivers are credited to Bain.
The caption to this article read as follows:
"Glenn Curtiss sailed for France Thursday for the purpose of taking part in the aeronautical races which are to be held at Rheims beginning August 22. There are several prizes offered, for all of which Curtiss has been entered. Speed, height, and endurance are to be counted. What Curtiss is after particularly is the prize of the Aero Club de France, which is a cup and $5,000. If he wins this the next international race will be held in America. Mr. Curtiss says he expects to meet Bleriot in the races. Bleriot will have the advantage of a much longer experience, as he has built ten machines, while Curtiss has only built four."
As an epilogue, Curtiss went on to defeat Louis Bleriot in the James Gordon Bennett Cup competition at Rheims. This was the highest competition honor of the day. The victory was an upset as Bleriot was the reigning hero of air travel having become the first man to cross the English Channel only weeks earlier. The Rheims event became the gold standard for aviation shows for many years.

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