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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

Smallpox Pioneer Edward Jenner’s Dear Friend, Celebrated Physician Caleb Hillier Parry

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. We’ve all heard of Edward Jenner and his work with smallpox, but I wonder if anyone reading this has heard of Caleb Hillier Parry?  When Jenner wrote his Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae, […]

On the Subject of Bourbon Whiskey: Charring Oak Barrels was no Accident – it was Science

This post was written by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a Science Reference Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division. In a previous post I alluded to writing an additional Bourbon-related post. This follow-up looks at a century of early scientific advancements and the impact on bourbon distillation in America. We shall bend science “to the […]

Shadow Science: Using Eclipses to Shed New Light on Heavenly Bodies, September 12 Lecture with NASA’s Chief Scientist, Dr. James L. Green

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference Librarian in the Science, Technology, and Business Division. People are still talking about the total solar eclipse of last August, and many of us are already excited about the next one on April 8, 2024.  That will be the only total solar eclipse in the 21st […]

Binge Watching Science Webcasts! Celebrating Twelve Years of the NASA Goddard Lecture Series at the Library of Congress

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference & Research Specialist, in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. She is also author of the blog posts “Kebabs, Kabobs, Shish Kebabs, Shashlyk, and: Chislic,” “The Potato Transformed,” and “Susan Fenimore Cooper: The First American Woman to Publish Nature Writing.” The Science, […]

Announcing “What’s New in Science, Technology, and Business”

The Science, Technology, & Business Division has long sent periodic email updates on “What’s New in Science and Technology”, covering lectures, exhibits, and other news. It has been newly re-named–“What’s New in Science, Technology, & Business”–and will feature updates and information from Business too! If you want to receive occasional emails about special events, lectures, current […]

Nobel Physicist Ernest O. Lawrence: A Small Town, Cyclotrons, and the Birth of Big Science

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference & Research Specialist, in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. She is also author of the blog posts “Kebabs, Kabobs, Shish Kebabs, Shashlyk, and: Chislic” and “The Potato Transformed.” I grew up in the small town of Canton, South Dakota.  A […]

How “Shop Class” Helped Win the War: The “Model Aircraft Project” of World War II

This post was written by Michelle Cadoree Bradley, a Science Reference Specialist in the Science, Technology and Business Division. In the collections of the Library of Congress, there are thousands of books in red buckram binding. These fairly innocuous exteriors can sometimes hide unique items. One such item from the stacks is the book Model Aircraft Project from […]