Portal:Finger Lakes/Selected biography/1

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Glenn Hammond Curtiss

Glenn Hammond Curtiss (21 May 1878 – 23 July 1930) was an aviation pioneer and founder of the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, now part of Curtiss-Wright Corporation. In 1930, he was awarded a Medal of Honor for his significant aviation accomplishments. Curtiss was born in 1878 in Hammondsport, New York to Frank Richmond Curtiss and Lua Andrews. Although he only received a formal education up to Grade 8, his early interest in mechanics and inventions was evident at his first job at the Eastman Dry Plate and Film Company (later Eastman Kodak Company) in Rochester, New York. He invented a stencil machine adopted at the plant and later built a rudimentary camera to study photography. On 7 March 1898, Curtiss married Lena Pearl Neff, daughter of Guy L. Neff, in Logansport, Indiana. Curtiss began his career as a bicycle racer, Western Union bicycle messenger, and bicycle shop owner. He developed an interest in motorcycles when internal combustion engines became more available.