The Curtiss Museum is continually improving its collections with new acquisitions. Occasionally acquisitions are the result of a long search for particular items. More often, however, an excellent item or group of items comes to the museum as an unexpected donation or loan. No matter how a new acquisition arrives at the museum, it is always an exciting moment - bringing with it new opportunities to expand our collections and exhibits.
Selected recent acquisitions.
This machine was the personal property of Henry Kleckler, Curtiss's right-hand man right from the very beginning of manufacturing operations in Hammondsport. It is believed that this drill press was used in the Curtiss factory in Hammondsport during WWI.
December 4, 2005
The Pratt and Whitney R-4360 Wasp Major was a large radial piston aircraft engine designed and built during WWII. It was the last of the Wasp family and the culmination of its maker’s piston engine technology, but the war was over before it could power airplanes into combat. It did, however, power the last generation of large, piston-engined planes before the jet engine and turboprop took over. This engine was commonly nicknamed the Corncob.
Sgt. Jeremiah "Jere" Baker
Jere Baker, president of our local chapter of the EAA and museum member, recently loaned mementos to the museum from his WWII experiences. These historical items can be seen in the new display in the WWII area.
Sgt. Jeremiah “Jere” Baker served as an aerial gunner on a B-29 known as “The Man-O-War”
with both the 20th Army Air Corps in the South Pacific and the China-Burma-India theater. While on a bombing mission, his plane was shot down, during which Jere was injured. After bailing out over Japan, he and several of his fellow crewmen were captured and imprisoned in the infamous Ofuna Prison Camp outside of Tokyo. On loan from Jere Baker