Colorful original poster for the Aerodrome de Vichy Air Meet, 43 x 30.5, held in July of 1909, which shows a woman sitting on a wall watching Wright-Ariel and Voisin biplanes take to the air, with "Meeting organisé par la Ste. l'Ariel...Concours Promenades Leçons," printed in the lower right. Poster was designed by Roger Jourdain and has been linen-backed to a slightly larger size. Rolled and in very good to fine condition, with some well-done restoration to some small scattered tears and creases, and a couple of light previous storage folds.
While the 'Grande Semaine d'Aviation' at Reims in August of 1909 is widely considered to be the first large-scale, international aviation meet, this incredibly rare poster tells of an earlier venture that aimed for that title. Originally planned in Vichy for June 1909, the grand event and weeklong exhibition was delayed until July 17-25. When the date finally arrived, bad weather and Bleriot's legendary flight across the English Channel limited attendance, leaving unimpressive crowds and only seven competitors to fly. As the audience finally began to build on Sunday to witness the two strongest participants-Louis Paulhan and Paul Tissandier, Wright's French pupil, who claimed the Grand Prix de Vichy-a cyclone hit, causing considerable damage to the planes. A stunning graphic image of a little-known early aviation event, beautifully illustrating the Wrights' biplane.