Photograph signed: "Orville Wright". B/w, 6¼x4½ overall, image 5x3¼ (one surface).
Captioned at lower margin: "First Man-Flight, December 17, 1903/Kitty Hawk, N.C."
Orville Wright (1871-1948) and his brother, Wilbur (1867-1912), made aviation history with their Flyer in Kitty Hawk, on North Carolina's Outer Banks, on December 17, 1903. While the Wrights had been testing their gliders on Kill Devil Hill for a number of years, this was their first test of their motorized, heavier-than-air flying machine. At 10:35 a.m., Orville Wright was at the controls of the 21-foot biplane with the 40.3-foot wingspan. The 605 pound craft, powered by a 12-horsepower engine that had four piston cylinders and revved to 1,090 rpm, left the ground, staying aloft for 12 seconds and covering 120 feet at an altitude of ten feet. Later that day, during one of their three test flights, Wilbur also manned the controls, traveling 852 feet in 59 seconds. In 1905, Wilbur and Orville decided to stop flying and tried to market their machine, first offering it to the U.S. government and then flying it in France. After Wilbur's death from typhoid fever on May 30, 1912, Orville became President of the Wright Company and continued as pioneer in the aviation industry. Signature lightly faded (completely legible). Creased at upper blank margin. Damp stained at left, right and lower margins. Mounting remnants on verso (no show through). Overall, fine condition.
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