Friday, January 25, 2013

If You Love Aviation and Speed.....

...then put this museum on your Bucket List of things to see.  The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, in Hammondsport, New York is definitely a fun place to spend a couple of hours.

Because it's January, which means I'm not doing a lot of current traveling, I'm digging out some photos today from our Fall of 2012 camping trip to north central Pennsylvania.  While we were there, and because it rained almost every day of our nine day outing, we were looking for sights to see in that general area.  That is how we came to find ourselves at this museum in Hammondsport, NY.  We had no recommendation;  I simply found this museum by doing a Google search of things to do near to the area we were camping.

I didn't think I would really enjoy this museum, as I'm not overly fascinated by aviation and things pertaining to it, but I was pleasantly surprised to find myself really enjoying this place.  Around every corner there was an interesting display of some sort, many of them just random collections from the general period in which Glenn Curtiss invented his stuff.

This museum is advertised to represent "Where Biplanes Soared and Motorcycles Roared," and it certainly does a hefty amount of that.  We discovered there the genius of Glenn Curtiss.  He:

     -was an inventer with 87 U.S. patents
     -made the first pre-announced public airplane flight
     -held the motorcycle speed record from 1907-1930
     -made the first U.S. city-to-city flight in 1910
     -trained the first woman pilot
     -developed the first flying boat in 1911
     -was recognized as the "Father of Naval Aviation"

and so much  more.

When you enter the museum, a staff person offers you a map to guide you through the museum.  The first set of exhibits shows Curtiss' bikes and motorcycles, items starting from approximately the year 1900.  Then the exhibits segue into his planes and other items of later years.

The June Bug - flown in the world's first pre-announced public flight

Even a doll house collection on the right
Scale model of an early Curtiss "Pusher" aircraft

1919 flying boat - The Seagull
The P-40, a World War II plane

As I mentioned earlier, throughout the museum were other collections from the same era, including this area showing old fire-fighting vehicles,

and this section showing old baby strollers and children's toys:

I must be ancient, because I remember my mother pushing my younger brother around in a stroller similar to this one.  It must have been a nightmare to fit in the car.

By the end of the museum we were seeing inventions from Curtiss' Florida years, years in which he turned his attention to land development, the travel trailer, and many other pursuits.  There is even an early travel trailer there at the museum.

Although Glenn Curtiss only lived to the age of 52, he is credited with over 500 inventions during his life span.  That's a lot of inventing.

There was only one time in my life when I thought of something that I wanted to invent, but I never followed through on it.  I considered inventing a LIVING ROOM RAKE during those years when my three daughters loved playing with Barbies and their associated gazillion pieces.  My son would be playing nearby with his beloved Lego sets, each containing about a bazillion pieces.  A living room rake would have come in handy at the end of the day, don't you think?

That invention sure would have made cleaning up easier, and who knows, maybe it would have ended up in a fancy museum somewhere, someday.


  1. I remember those strollers, too.

  2. I like your idea of a living room rake. My daughter was into Polly Pockets. Yikes....

  3. I love finding those little known treasures like that museum. They are usually so much fun. Need to remember this one.