Oldfield Joins Coey Party

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. Standing, from left to right are: Charles A. Coey, Kathleen Bumbaugh, Mrs. George L. Bumbaugh and Mrs. Andrew Ott. Seated in front are Mrs. Coey, Bess Oldfield (Barney's wife) and famed auto racer Barney Oldfield.
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. Captain George Bumbaugh was Speedway President Carl Fisher's ballooning mentor and was assisting him in his first race. Fisher's balloon was the Indiana. Oldfield and Fisher had been friends for years and like many auto racers of the day Barney was interested in the concept of air travel. Kathleen was Bumbaugh's daughter and her father, who was one of the foremost experts in balloon construction in America, had named a balloon after her. If anyone has any information on Mrs. Ott I would delighted to hear from you.

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