Imagining the Future - 1909

This image was the cover of a special aviation section in the Indianapolis Star on Sunday, October 10, 1909. Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder and President Carl Fisher was a leading advocate to position his track as the American capital of aviation. The economic benefits to Indianapolis of being the center of a burgeoning industry were obvious and got civic leadership excited.
Long before Photoshop the Star worked up a little photographic sleight of hand to create this altered image to depict a vision of what the city's skies might look like just three years hence. Packed with aviation traffic as people travel by motorized dirigible or light airplane, this was a thought-provoking image to readers that morning over coffee. There can be little doubt it triggered conversation of what might be.
While Speedway management had recently consumed a bit of crow by having to cancel a much ballyhooed aviation show that was planned for October 14 they continued to pursue the opportunity to host the 1910 international air show featuring the James Gordon Bennett Cup for airplanes. This effort would fail also as Belmont Park in New York hosted that contest. The landmark inaugural edition of that event had been staged in Rheims, France just weeks earlier in August.

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