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Orville Wright: The Art and Science of Aviation, 1914

Influential Presence

Persuading customers to overcome their skepticism was difficult and it was 1908 before the U.S. Army Signal Corps purchased an aircraft. Orville Wright was by then flying demonstrations in France and finding interested European customers. With commercial success came competitors ready to copy the Wrights' designs and much time was spent in protecting patents that the brothers had quietly and carefully assembled during their years of work in Ohio.

The aviation industry was slow to develop beyond daredevil exhibitions and the lack of progress took a toll on the brothers. In 1912, Wilbur Wright died from typhoid and not long after, in 1916, Orville sold the Wright Company and turned back to experimentation and invention. For the next thirty-six years, he remained an influential presence in aviation matters and an avid supporter of a wide range of inventions and inventors.

Letter from Wright

Letter from Orville Wright to R.B. Owens, Informing that a telegram has been sent, 5/5/1914 (742K)

Letter to Wright

Letter from Secretary to Orville Wright, Acknowledging receipt of the telegram concerning the topic of the address to be presented, 5/6/1914 (803K)

Letter from CSA Assistant

Letter from CSA Secretary Assistant to Edward S. Dana, American Journal of Science, Announcing the recipients of the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, 5/20/1914 (647K)