Oldfield & Coey

This image was published in the Indianapolis Star on June 6, 1909 as part of the paper's coverage of the June 5, 1909 national balloon championship hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Pictured shaking hands are Charles A. Coey (left), and famed auto racer Barney Oldfield (right) shortly before the start of the event. Coey was the pilot for the largest balloon in the race, the massive 110,000 cubic foot Chicago. The balloon was so large it did not conform to regulations for the national championship race and had to be confined to the secondary handicap trophy race. I believe the woman on the left side of the photo is Mrs. Coey, wife of the aviator who was also the first woman to ascend from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a balloon. This photo is a companion that was taken at almost the same time and at the same setting with Coey, Oldfield and others in the picture.

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