By: Vivienne Machi, Staff Writer
We pay homage to the Wright Brothers every day on a global scale: every time someone hops in a plane for work or pleasure, they can thank Orville and Wilbur for the luxury.
We wanted to celebrate Wright Brothers Day the Dayton.com way, so we teamed up with Nancy Horlacher, local history librarian at the Dayton Metro Library Genealogy Center, to come up with 15 lesser-known facts about Wilbur and Orville that will make all the difference at Trivia Night.
Of course you know about Wilbur and Orville, but how about their siblings? Susan and Bishop Milton Wright had seven children: Five boys — Reuchlin, Loren, Wilbur, Orville and Otis — and two girls — Katharine and Ida. Otis and Ida were twins who died in infancy.
Orville was a dog lover: He had a pet St. Bernard named Scipio in his Oakwood home Hawthorne Hill.
The Wright Seaplane Base was located on the Great Miami River south of Dayton at Miami Shores, which is where Orville and his assistants experimented with various designs of the Wright aeroboats and hydroplanes.
May 25, 1910, was the only time that Wilbur and Orville ever flew together. The flight took place at Huffman Prairie Flying Field.
Orville installed a needle shower in his new Oakwood home that sprayed needle-like jets of water from different level horizontal pipes around the shower walls.
In 1936, Orville Wright gifted his bicycle shop and family home to Henry Ford for his Greenfield Village Museum in Dearborn, Mich.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, the first internationally renowned African-American poet and writer, and Orville Wright were classmates in the class of 1890, at Central High School in Dayton.
Orville owned an island vacation home, where he would vacation in the summers, on Lambert Island in Georgian Bay Ontario, Canada.
General Henry (Hap) Arnold learned to fly at the Wright School of Aviation in 1911 at the Huffman Prairie Flying Field.
Wilbur and Orville began manufacturing their own brands of bicycles, first the Van Cleve bicycle in 1895, and later the St. Clair bicycle.
The automatic stabilizer, propellers, and wing warping were all airplane innovations designed by the Wright brothers.
Wilbur Wright first flew in Europe at Hunaudieres Race Course outside of Le Mans, France in August, 1908.
A student of the Wrights at Huffman Prairie Flying Field named Roy Brown is credited with the death of Captain Manfred von Richthofen, or the Red Baron, Germany’s World War I flying ace.
Beginning in 1890, Wright & Wright Job Printers printed the newspaper written and published by Paul Laurence Dunbar entitled, The Dayton Tattler.
Kites led to a glider, which led to the aeroplane for testing the Wright brothers theories of flight.