Last year, the City of Miami Springs established the Business and Economic Development Task Force consisting of some of the greatest business minds from our community.  This Task Force has been doing an outstanding job in coming up with ideas to help improve the economic environment for both existing businesses and new businesses.

In the spirit of coming up with ways to improve our community, we came up with the idea of the “Miami Springs 2026 Project.”  You see Miami Springs was incorporated on August 23, 1926.  And in just 4 more years, the City of Miami Springs will turn 100 years old.  So, with 4 years left before our centennial celebration, what are some changes and / or improvements the city should have completed by the time it turns 100?

Statue of Glenn Hammond Curtiss

The Wright Brothers were first in flight, but Glenn Curtiss was the Father of the Aviation Industry.  You probably know Glenn Curtiss was the founder of our city.  But did you know he was the “Fastest Man on Earth?”  Here are just a handful of Glenn Curtiss’ innumerable accomplishments:

  • 1907 – Fastest Man on Earth (1907 – 1911)
    • In January 1907, Curtiss piloted a V-8 motorcycle of his own design to a record speed of 136.4 mph.  The man was a daredevil and a genius.  His record held on till 1911 when it was beat by an automobile.  The motorcycle land speed record stood until 1930.
      Glenn Curtiss the Fastest Man on Earth on his V-8 Motorcycle
  • 1908 – The first public flight demonstration of a powered aircraft used a lightweight Curtiss engine
  • 1908 – Developed ailerons, the hinged surface at the edge of airplane wings still used today.  By comparison, the Wright Brothers used “wing warping” which was okay for the cloth materials of the day, but would not be used as planes developed into wooden and metal wings.
  • July 4. 1908 – Flight of the June Bug – “The first officially-recognized, pre-announced and
    publicly-observed flight in America.  He flew 5,090 feet with over 1,000 people watching.”
    Glenn Curtiss seated in aircraft
  • 1911 – Developed the first seaplane which is why Curtiss is also known as the father of Naval Aviation.  Between 1911 – 1914, the Navy purchased 14 different versions of the Curtiss Triad seaplane.
  • 1914 – 1918  – World War I – The Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny” was used to train American and Canadian pilots how to fly.  In fact, it’s estimated 95% of North American World War I pilots learned to fly in a Jenny.
  • 1916 – Glenn Curtiss thought the area to be desirable for starting a flying school and purchased 17,000 acres of land with his partner James Bright of what we now know as Hialeah, Opa-Locka, and Miami Springs.
  • 1919 – The first aircraft to cross the Atlantic.  The Curtiss NC-4.

    Photo of a painting at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum of the Curtiss NC-4 Crossing
    Photo of a painting at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum of the Curtiss NC-4 Crossing
  • 1920 – Curtiss moves to Florida
  • 1922 – The Curtiss Bright Company begins construction of the Miami Springs Golf and Country Club.  It was completed in the fall of 1923.
  • October 13, 1924 – TIME Magazine Cover
  • 1925 – Built the Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs
  • 1925 – 1926 – Glenn Curtiss co-founded the the City of Hialeah, the City of Opa-Locka, and the City of Miami Springs.
  • 1920s – Glenn Curtiss developed the Aerocar seen below at the Curtiss MansionCurtiss Aerocar at the Curtiss Mansion in Miami Springs
  • July 23, 1930 – Curtiss dies at the early age of 52 from complications of appendicitis.  Yeah, Curtiss did everything you see above and more before the digital information age we live in today.  The closest person to compare him today is an Elon Musk, except that Glenn Curtiss was much more of a daredevil and an incredible…badass!

Does Glenn Curtiss deserve a Statue in Miami Springs?

You may have already known about this or maybe you’re learning about it for the very first time.  Either way, Glenn Curtiss deserves a statue with a plaque to commemorate him before our 100 year anniversary arrives.

As for funding sources, we can look for grants and donations from organizations such as the Curtiss Museum, the Curtiss Wright Company, the Smithsonian, the State of Florida, the Federal Government.  Point is, we’ll never find the money until we have a plan to actually do it.

What do you think?  Does Glenn Curtiss deserve a statue in his honor along Curtiss Parkway?



  1. Absolutely! Glenn Hammond Curtiss was a major figure in the advancement of aviation, the
    “father” of Miami Springs, innovator, and motivator of the airline industry around which Miami
    Springs began to boom. If South Florida has a Rickenbacker Causeway, why not a statue of
    Glenn Curtiss?

  2. Great Idea.
    The city that we enjoy and cherish was his vision and is only proper that we celebrate him with a monument.


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