Promises Broken: Louis Paulhan

This image first appeared in the Indianapolis Star on September 19, 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.
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.
Part of the hype leading up to the October 1 cancelation of the fall air show was the promise of attracting some of Europe's top aviators to the Hoosier capital. Among them is Frenchman Louis Paulhan pictured here.
The caption originally published with this photo reads as follows:
"Paulhan, one of the most daring of the navigators of the air, is expected to visit the United States in October, having been invited to take part in the flying races at Indianapolis. He made a flight of eight miles in 9.9 minutes this month, and as no aviator is ever satisfied with his record, it may be that he will do a mile in a minute at Indianapolis."

Paulhan.jpg1.86 MB