The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, which celebrates the memory of a pioneer of the land and air is located just a few miles south of Hammondsport in Steuben County. Born in Hammondsport in 1878, Glenn Curtiss became the fastest man on earth in 1907, when he reached 136 miles per hour his revolutionary motorcycle. Not content with his success on the ground, the next year Curtiss set his sights on the sky. As a member of the Aerial Experiment Association, Curtiss piloted his first plan in 1908, and spent the next few years developing better avionics technology. Curtiss later pioneered the design of seaplanes and became know as the father of Naval aviation.
The story of Glenn Hammond Curtiss has largely been lost to history, overshadowed by the legend of the bicycle makers from Ohio, the Wright Brothers. But Glenn Curtiss' life and his contributions to the development of aviation is a true American tale. Glenn Curtiss: The Forgotten Eagle explores the life of this aviation pioneer, from his early days as an engine designer and motorcycle racing champion to his days as the maker of some of the world's earliest airplanes. It would be Curtiss - not the Wright Brothers - who would be awarded America's first pilot's license, and credited with the first public flight in the United States. Curtiss would also become the target of the Wright Brothers' jealousy and wrath, and that threatened to tear his world apart.