$50,000 Award to Fly Across America in 1911
This cool old advertisement shows a competition for flying innovation in the early 20th century. Click on it to read more and see that William Randolph Hearst was offering $50,000 for a successful flight across the continental U.S. Jay Gould of New York offered $10,000 to the first pilot to fly at an altitude of 10,000 feet. This advertisement was run in The Washington Times back in 1911.
Source: Library of Congress
The Rex Smith Aeroplane Company was founded in College Park Maryland, by of course Rex Smith. Only two biplanes were manufactured by the company during its existence from 1910 to 1916. His operations were at College Park Airport, which still exists today.