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and life along the winding road

Friday, July 1, 2016

The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

We've all heard of the Wright Brothers and their contribution to flight, but David McCullough's book The Wright Brothers gives us an insight into how hard the brothers worked and how fastidiously they researched and tested their findings. Wilbur Wright began his research by writing to the Smithsonian Institute and asking for any articles or books on the experiments and investigations of flight. The two brothers had worked together before both in a printing business and then subsequently in a very successful bicycle shop where they designed and built the new mode of transport - bicycles. All in all they were a close family and encouraged by both parents and their sister in their endeavors until their mother's untimely death of tuberculosis. When it came time to test their invention, they contacted the United States Weather Bureau in Washington for prevailing winds around the country. Based on their findings and choosing a location that would afford a soft landing (sand), they chose Kitty Hawk a remote area in North Carolina.

If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother and begin life in Ohio.
Wilbur Wright

Wilber, like many others, had noticed the number of inventions and technical innovations coming from Ohio. Dayton ranked, during the turn of the century, the first in the country relative to population in the creation of new patents according to the U.S. Patent Office.

It was the age of innovation in America. The first elevator was installed, the first mousetrap, the first motor cars built in America, the first electric sewing machine, and a box camera was introduced by George Eastman.

1 comment:

Joanne said...

The author does tremendous research for his books. I'm sure this is an excellent treatment on the Wright Brothers and history