Glenn H. Curtiss Museum

Staff Writer
The Steuben Courier Advocate

The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, located on State Route 54, is a rich historical adventure for the surrounding communities, tourists and seasonal residents.

A native of Hammondsport, Glenn Hammond Curtiss is remembered primarily for his contributions to the fledgling aviation industry in the early days of the 20th century, although he began his career building bicycles and then motorcycles.

In 1907, he earned the title “Fastest Man on Earth” with a motorcycle run of 136.4 mph.

The original V8-powered motorcycle he rode for the feat is on display at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., but an exact bolt-for-bolt reproduction can be seen at the museum that bears his name.

But the focus is on Curtiss’ undoubted achievements in the fledgling field of aeronautics.

 The museum features a full-sized reproduction of the “June Bug”, the flying machine Curtiss designed and built and flew on July 4, 1908 in the first pre-announced public flight ever undertaken in America.

The flight covered a world record distance of more than 5,000 feet, earned Curtiss the Scientific American Trophy and pilot license No. 1.

Curtiss’ pioneer work in seaplanes also is on display, with a 1911 A-1 seaplane, a 1912 “Pusher”, a 1913 “Model E” flying boat, a 1917 “Jenny”, and a 1919 “Seagull” flying boat.

From the post-1929 Curtiss-Wright era, the museum’s exhibits include a 1931 “Junior” -- a small plane envisioned as “every man’s” airplane because of its low cost. Other exhibits are a 3/4-scale P-40; and a C-46 transport plane used in World War II.

The C-46 is currently stationed at the main gate of the museum.

The museum also contains exhibits of antique tools, toys, boats, housewares, fire equipment and more. There’s even the innovative travel trailer Curtiss designed and built as one of the world’s first recreational vehicles.

The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum is open all year, although the hours vary with the season.

•    May through October, hours are 9a.m.- 5p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Sundays.

•    Nov. 1 through April 30, hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday   and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.

 Adult admission is $7; senior citizens, $5; students, $4, and children, free.