“A Machine Of Practical Utility”

While lauded for their 1903 flight, the Wright brothers were not convinced of their airplane’s reliability to sustain long, controlled flights until October 1905

On the morning of October 5, 1905, Amos Stauffer and a field hand were cutting corn when the distinctive clatter and pop of an engine and propellers drifted over from the neighboring pasture. The Wright boys, Stauffer knew, were at it again. Glancing up, he saw the flying machine rise above the heads of the dozen or so spectators gathered along the fence separating the two fields. The machine drifted toward the crowd, then sank back to earth in a gentle arc. The first flight of the day was over in less than 40 seconds. Read more »

Dayton, Ohio

A town forced to earn its living by its wits from the very beginning—most spectacularly through the work of two young bicycle mechanics—and now remaking itself into a Colonial Williamsburg of the industrial age, this year’s Great American Place is

I settled into the chair in my dentist’s office. Before the instruments came out, he asked me if I had any interesting travel coming up. Yes, I replied, I would soon be going to Dayton to visit the Wright brothers’ historical sites. “Dayton?” he said. “I thought they were in North Carolina.”

 
 
 
Read more »

How Wilbur Wright Taught Europe To Fly

Most Americans know that Wilbur and Orville Wright were the first to fly a powered airplane; a few know that they were the first to build a practical powered airplane; but almost no one in the United States seems to know that these remarkable brothers not only inspired Europeans to revive their all-but-moribund ambition to fly, but, in 1908, revolutionized European aviation when the French had been floundering incH’ectually in the field ol aviation lor six long years.

 
Read more »