Posted December 19, 2011
Milton Wright Diary Entry, Courtesy of Wright State University, viewed on Ohio Memory.
Thurs. 17 In the afternoon about 5:30 we received the following telegram from Orvill, dated Kitty Hawk, N.C., Dec. 17. “Bishop M. Wright: “Success four flights Thursday morning all against a twenty-one mile wind started from level with engine power alone average speed through the air thirty-one miles- longest 57 seconds. XXX home christmas. Orville Fri. 18 Wright.” The Enquirer continue-ed following head-lines on the Wright’s flying. Dayton Journ- nal and Cin. Tribune contain nothing! though I furnished press reporter the news.
Leading up to the holidays in December of 1903, Orville Wright sent a telegram home to his father, Bishop Milton Wright, about the now world-famous Wright Flyer flights of December 17th. Orville was most excited about the final flight of the day, which spanned 852 feet in 57 seconds. He barely mentions the first and most historic flight, which lasted only 12 seconds and traveled 120 feet. But that short flight was one of the great moments in history — the first controlled and sustained flight in a motorized aircraft. At the end of the telegram, Orville writes that he and Wilbur would be home for Christmas. It would be fascinating to know what their Christmas dinner conversation was and if they understood how much their invention would change the world. What do you think? Check out this footage from a 1938 Army Air Corps film, posted on YouTube by the Engineers Club of Dayton.
Written by: Sharon Dean, Ph.D., Director of Museum and Library Services