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Table of contents

After a fire devastated his shop in California, Baldwin actually moved to Hammondsport to be closer to Curtiss.

Glenn H. Curtiss/Barney Oldfield - 1920s

His ingenuity and his engines made Curtiss sought after by a number of people interested in taking aviation to new heights and not just balloonists. Later that same year, he was invited by Alexander Graham Bell to be part of the Aerial Experiment Association, a group of men focused on getting a man into the air. While the Wright Brothers held the first successful controlled flight of a manned aircraft, they did so in secret.

As a result, the general pubic took little notice. In , Glenn Curtiss was involved in the first pre-announced publicly witnessed flight in America of a heavier-than-air machine which was held in Hammondsport. Also that same year, Curtiss won the first aeronautical prize, the Scientific American Cup, ever awarded in the United States. When they declined the opportunity, Curtiss received an invitation on July 1st. It also solidified him as America's foremost aviation pioneer. Ironically, though little known to most people today, Curtiss was at the center of public awareness when it came to aviation.

While the Wright Brothers kept everything very secret, Glenn Curtiss and others shared ideas.

Glenn Hammond Curtiss () - Find A Grave Memorial

As a result, most of the experimentation and innovation going on in aviation between and the start of WWI took place in Hammondsport helping propel aviation forward as a viable means to transportation. By Curtiss' engine had been co-opted by Thomas Baldwin for his airship experiments. This activity led to a connection between Curtiss and Alexander Graham Bell and, in , to the foundation of the Aerial Experiment Association.

In Curtiss joined with Augustus M. Herring to form the Herring-Curtiss Co to manufacture powered vehicles, but Herring's unsubstantiated claims to priority over the Wright Brother's aeronautical patents led to the Wright and Curtiss patent suits which continued until the merger of Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor with Wright Aeronautical in Curtiss and Herring split after the Wright's filed suit and Herring sued Curtiss, claiming that Curtiss had failed to turn his air race winnings over to the company.

Despite these, and other, suits, Curtiss continued to advance the cause and technology of aviation, founding the first public flying school and later a chain of schools across the US, inventing the aileron , the dual-control trainer and the hydroaeroplane In Curtiss retired from active aviation pursuits. After Curtiss died, his wife continued the legal fight on her husband's behalf until a judge decided in Herring's favor Processing Information.

The collection is arranged into two broad series.

Inwood in Aviation History

First, is the material relating to Curtiss' professional life. This includes corporate correspondence, miscellaneous corporate materials, reports, photographs, programs and tributes, books, journals, newsletters, newspaper clippings, patent materials and a scrapbook. The second series contains items pertaining to legal cases involving Curtiss, Augustus M.

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Herring and the Wright brothers. In Series 1, correspondence, miscellaneous corporate and non-corporate materials, reports, photographs, menus, programs, tributes, books, journals, newsletters, patent materials and legal documents are arranged chronologically.

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The small amount of personal correspondence found in this collection follows the corporate correspondence in the finding aid. Newspaper clippings, journals, newsletters and articles are grouped by title of publication. Photographs are grouped by subject and then chronologically. Patent materials are organized into two groups: patent applications filed by and issued to Curtiss and those filed by and issued to the Wright brothers.

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In Series 2, the legal documents are organized chronologically by specific legal case. Immediate Source of Acquisition note.

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  • Preferred Citation. Curtiss Collection, Acc. Conditions Governing Access note. Conditions Governing Use. Permissions Requests.