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Orville Wright: The Art and Science of Aviation, 1914

Aviation Science

Orville Wright, the fourth child of Milton, a circuit preacher and theology professor, and Susan, college-educated and gifted in mathematics, was born in Dayton, Ohio, on August 19, 1871. Closest to him in age were Wilbur, four years older, and Katharine, three years younger. A cultivated and happy childhood came to an end with the death of his mother in 1889; Orville left high school before his senior year while Wilbur gave up on hopes to attend college at Yale. Using knowledge gained from a summer apprenticeship, Orville started a weekly then daily newspaper. It failed and then he joined a printing company in partnership with Wilbur. An enthusiast of the new rage for cycling, Orville next opened a business in bicycle repair and manufacturing in 1894; the successful Wright Cycle Company eventually replaced the printing venture. This was the point, in 1896, that the brothers developed an interest in the very new science of aviation.