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Glenn H. Curtiss. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-106325).


Curtiss, Glenn Hammond (21 May 1878–23 July 1930), aeronautical inventor and manufacturer, was born in Hammondsport, New York, the son of Frank R. Curtiss, the owner of a harness shop, and Lua Andrews. After the death of his father in 1883, Curtiss was raised by his mother and his strong-willed grandmother Ruth Curtiss in the bucolic Finger Lake region of western New York. After graduating from the eighth grade in 1892, Curtiss secured a job stenciling numbers on the backing of photographic film for the Eastman Dry Plant and Film Company (later Eastman Kodak Company) of Rochester. The next year he purchased a bicycle and found employment as a messenger for Western Union....


Link, Edwin Albert, Jr. (26 July 1904–07 September 1981), inventor and businessman, was born in Huntington, Indiana, the youngest son of Edwin Albert Link, Sr., and Katherine Martin. In 1910 the family moved to Binghamton, New York, when Link’s father purchased the bankrupt Binghamton Automatic Music Corporation. Renamed the Link Piano and Organ Company, the firm established a reputation for manufacturing theater organs, player pianos, and nickelodeons. Because he was less interested in academics than in tinkering with mechanical devices, Link’s educational record was erratic. He spent a brief time at the Rockford Training High School (Ill.), Los Angeles Polytechnic High School, Bellefonte Academy (Pa.), and Lindsley Institute (W.Va.). In 1922 he returned to Binghamton and entered Central High School. He also worked for his father’s company, where he rebuilt and repaired organs....