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The First Airplane Ad

The first newspaper ad for an airplane appeared 103 years ago today.

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Curtiss-Herring No. 1 "Reims Racer" on the ground at the Coupe Gordon Bennett race, August 28, 1909, Reims, France. Glenn Curtiss is at the controls. Image courtesy NASM.

On June 27, 1909, three New York newspapers (the Sun, the New York Times, and the Herald) carried the world’s first newspaper advertisement of an airplane for sale to the general public. “The operating of an aeroplane,” read another version of the advertisement, “readily handled by the amateur, is now an assured fact.” Augustus Herring and Glenn Curtiss formed the Herring-Curtiss Company on March 19, 1909 for the purpose of manufacturing and selling “motors, motorcycles, motor boats, motor vehicles, electric generators, balloons, aeroplanes, airships, flying machines of any and all types and kinds, now or hereafter devised, and any and all other motor vehicles and equipment and forms of transportation, by land or in the air, or on the water.” The company was dissolved a year later, allowing Curtiss to form the Curtiss Aeroplane Company.

"A machine for air navigation," delivered to your door 40 days from purchase. Originally appeared in the June 27, 1909 edition of The New York Times.

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