GOLD TROPHY FROM THE FIRST PULITZER AIR RACE.
The first prize from the first Pulitzer Air Race, awarded to Lieutenant Corliss C. Moseley in 1920. The obverse with relief design showing the Pulitzer Trophy itself which was crafted by sculptor Mario Josef Korbel, and the words "Pulitzer Trophy." The reverse with laurel-crowned propeller, and inscribed "Winner of First Place: Lt. C.C. Moseley, USA. Distance 116.0808. Time 44:29:57. November 25, 1920." Struck in gold by the Gorham Company of New York, marked 14 karat, 124 x 75 mm, approximately 375 grams. With case.
"Speeding through the air at the rate of almost three miles a minute, Lieutenant C.C. Mosley [sic] of the United States Army Air Service, piloting an American built Verville-Packard airplane, won the first aerial contest for the Pulitzer Trophy yesterday at Mitchel Field, near Garden City," reported the New York Times on November 26, 1920. The Pulitzer Air Race was sponsored by the eponymous owners of the New York World, and was intended to be the high point of the air racing year. The race took place over four laps of a 32-mile course.
Moseley began his career in aviation in 1917, when he joined the School of Military Aeronautics at Berkeley, CA. He went on to serve in WWI, and continued working as a test pilot. Although he failed to break the air speed record set by the Frenchman Bernard de Romanet on November 4 of the same year, he left the other competitors behind and was awarded this first prize in front of a crowd of 25,000.
The Pulitzer Air Race ran annually until 1925, and the large silver trophy itself now resides in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.