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Celebrate Innovators and Changemakers on National Inventors Day! Learn about Aviation Pioneers Orville and Wilbur Wright

This post was written by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a Science Reference Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division.

For some years I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man,” wrote Wilbur Wright in a letter to Octave Chanute in May 1900.  (Octave Chanute Papers: Special Correspondence–Wright Brothers, 1900, in Octave Chanute Collection at the Library of Congress).

Wilbur in prone position in damaged machine on ground after unsuccessful trial of December 14, 1903; Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. //www.loc.gov/item/2001696253/

Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright spent years working on powered flight, doing research, and corresponding with others in the field.  The process was not smooth and a record of their progress and failures can be found in their diaries and in photographic evidence, such as the picture of their wrecked plane above. Their hard work and perseverance paid off, and on December 17, 1903, they achieved their dream of powered, sustained flight.

For teachers and students wishing to access primary source materials see:

Explore the Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers at the Library of Congress at //www.loc.gov/collections/wilbur-and-orville-wright-papers/about-this-collection/#overview

For an extensive bibliography see:

Wilbur & Orville Wright: a bibliography commemorating the one-hundredth anniversary of the first powered flight, December 17, 1903 by Arthur George Renstrom

Wilbur & Orville Wright, pictorial materials: a documentary guide by Arthur George Renstrom

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