LiveAuctionTalk.com Spotlights the Birth of Aviation Rosemary McKittrick’s column is one of America’s leading online sources for art, antique and collectible information. Visit the site and sign up for a free weekly subscription.
News-Antique.com - Feb 09,2011 - Glenn Curtiss never anticipated becoming one of the founding fathers of American aviation. In fact he had no plans of even getting into the aviation business in 1906.
Curtiss was preoccupied with a successful motorcycle company and building the fastest motorcycle in the world. In 1907, he was named the "Fastest Man on Earth" after setting a motorcycle speed record of 136.3 miles per hour. During this time he also built a few engines for airships.
He happened to be displaying some of his engines at a New York show when Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, walked up to him. Bell was intrigued by the possibility of flight. The two would ultimately work together.
Curtiss went on to establish the first aircraft manufacturing company in the United States introducing seaplanes and flying boat designs. His flight was also the first officially-recognized, publicly-observed flight in America.
On Sept 30, Swann Galleries, New York, featured a selection of early Curtiss aircraft photographs and memorabilia including items signed by Curtiss in its Printed & Manuscript Americana auction.
The photographs originally belonged to the family of Walter Layton Vroom. Vroom was a clerk in the Curtiss Engineering Company from 1918 to 1920. Included in the collection were three images of Alexander Graham Bell, Curtiss and other aviators.
The photographs belonged to the family of Walter Layton Vroom. Vroom was a clerk in the Curtiss Engineering Company from 1918 to 1920. The items sold for $5,280.
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