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Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Aerial Experiment Association  Search this
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company  Search this
Curtiss-Wright Corporation  Search this
Herring-Curtiss Co.  Search this
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922  Search this
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Herring, Augustus Moore, 1867-1926  Search this
2.7 Cubic feet (6 boxes)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Financial records
bulk 1911-1930
This collection consists of documents and memorabilia relating to Curtiss during the years of his active aviation pursuits. The bulk of the material relates to patent suits, including Wright v. Curtiss, Herring v. Curtiss, and Curtiss v. Janin.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the personal papers of Glenn H. Curtiss. These papers relate to his career as an aviation pioneer and aircraft manufacturing business owner. This collection also includes a small amount of personal correspondence. Moreover, materials pertaining to patents filed by Curtiss and the Wright brothers, as well as legal documents and testimony, are found in this collection.
Series 1: Professional materials Subseries 1.1: Corporate correspondence Subseries 1.2: Personal correspondence Subseries 1.3: Miscellaneous corporate materials Subseries 1.4: Patent materials Subseries 1.5: Reports Subseries 1.6: Photographs Subseries 1.7: Menus, programs and tributes Subseries 1.8: Books, journals, newsletters, and miscellaneous materials Subseries 1.9: Newspaper clippings and articles Series 2: Legal materials Subseries 2.1: Curtiss versus Herring Subseries 2.2: Curtiss versus Wright Brothers Subseries 2.3: Lena P. Curtiss versus Herring
Biographical/Historical note:
Glenn Hammond Curtiss (1878-1930) is best known as an aviation pioneer and inventor and founder of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co. Initially a bicycle repairman and designer, by 1902 Curtiss had begun to manufacture motorcycles using a lightweight internal combustion engine of his own design and founded the Curtiss Manufacturing Co. By 1904 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 1907, to the foundation of the Aerial Experiment Association. In 1909 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 1929. 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 (1910) and later a chain of schools across the US, inventing the aileron (1909), the dual-control trainer (1911) and the hydroaeroplane (1911). In 1920 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 (1931).
Glenn H. Curtiss, Jr., gift, 1963, XXXX-0053
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Patent suits  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aircraft industry  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Financial records
Glenn H. Curtiss Collection, Acc. XXXX-0053, National Air & Space Museum, Smithsonian Inst.
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Glenn H. Curtiss Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives