Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0376
Dates:
1909-1945
Languages:
English
This collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.25 Cubic Feet
1 slim legal document box
Repository:
This collection consists mostly of correspondence between the Wright brothers and the following people: J.W. See; Ralph H. Upson; Henry Ford; Ernest Jones; Frank Coffyn; O.G. Simmons; C.R. Peterkin; Otto Mallery; Maynard; and Lester Gardner. Also included are sketches, an NAA letter signed by witnesses: Etheridge, Dough and Moore attesting to the 1903 flight, and the Wright Brothers' original bid for the military contract.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists mostly of correspondence between the Wright brothers and the following people: J.W. See; Ralph H. Upson; Henry Ford; Ernest Jones; Frank Coffyn; O.G. Simmons; C.R. Peterkin; Otto Mallery; Maynard; and Lester Gardner. Also included are sketches, an NAA letter signed by witnesses: Etheridge, Dough and Moore attesting to the 1903 flight, and the Wright Brothers' original bid for the military contract.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Correspondence is arranged by recipient, other materials are arranged by topic.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Wilbur Wright was born April 16, 1867, his brother Orville Wright on August 19, 1871. They, along with sister Katharine and brothers Reuchlin and Lorin, were raised near Millville, Indiana and in Dayton, Ohio by their mother, Susan Wright, and father, Milton Wright, bishop of the United Brethren Church. As young men, Wilbur and Orville launched a printing business and a bicycle shop. An interest in aeronautics, spurred by the accounts of the experiments of Otto Lilienthal, prompted Wilbur to request information on the subject from the Smithsonian Institution in 1899. In August of 1900, Wilbur built his first glider and that year and the next the brothers tested gliders at Kitty Hawk. The Wrights constructed a wind tunnel to gather accurate aeronautical data and, benefiting from this new information, another glider was built in 1902. In 1903, the brothers were ready to began construction of a powered craft. With the assistance of mechanic Charles Taylor, they added a 4-cylinder, 12-horsepower engine and propellers to the 1903 Flyer and it was sent to Kitty Hawk for testing. At 10:35 am, December 17, on Kill Devil Hill, Orville achieved a flight of 12 seconds--traveling a distance of 120 feet. By 1908 the Wrights were demonstrating their machines in Europe. The U.S. Army Signal Corps advertised for bids for a two-seat observation aircraft and in 1908 and 1909, the Wrights flew at official Army trials at Fort Myer, Virginia. (It was here that powered flight's first fatality occurred: the tragic death of Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge.) The Army was to purchase the Military Flyer (Signal Corps No. 1) for $30,000 in 1909. In that same year, The Wright Company was established to manufacture Wright aircraft. Wilbur died in Dayton, Ohio on May 30,1912. Orville Wright would live until January 30, 1948.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged, described, and encoded by Jessamyn Lloyd, 2018.
Author
Jessamyn Lloyd
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Various Donors, Gift, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0376

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Preferred Citation
Wright Brothers Collection, NASM.XXXX.0376, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airplanes Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Military Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airplanes -- Design and construction Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Coffyn, Frank, 1878-1960 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
See, James Waring, 1850-1920. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Upson, Ralph Hazlett, 1888-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ford, Henry, 1863-1947 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Peterkin, C. R. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jones, Ernest La Rue, 1883-1955 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/