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Highlighting the Holidays: Tree Time at the Wright Brothers’ House

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Twinkling lights, multicolored ornaments, sparkly tinsel, hanging candy canes – trimming the Christmas tree is a tradition of the holiday season, for those that celebrate.

Christmas tree in the Wright home, 7 Hawthorn Street, Dayton, Ohio. 1900. Prints and Photographs Division.
Christmas tree in the Wright home, 7 Hawthorn Street, Dayton, Ohio. 1900. Prints and Photographs Division.

At 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton, Ohio, the Wright Brothers decorated their tree with popcorn garland, candles, paper angles angels, sparkly ornaments and a star topper.

In this picture, ca. 1900, from the Library’s collection of Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers, you can see a variety of gifts, mainly for children, stuffed under the tree: a couple of dolls perched atop a stroller, boxes of miniatures for a dollhouse, a toy train, several wrapped packages, possibly a pair of skates and a BB gun, perhaps.

Wilbur and Orville Wright never married but rather lived together in the Hawthorn Street house with their father and sister Katharine. The home was where much of brothers’ creative thinking and planning took place, including the invention of the world’s first airplane. Orville and Wilbur resided at the Hawthorn Street house until Wilbur’s death in 1912.

More historical holiday treasures from the Library of Congress can be found here. Happy Holidays!


Comments (2)

  1. I am sure the angles are pretty … but perhaps you meant angels on the tree?

  2. how beautiful, a bit sparse on decorations, but the gifts for the children tell all

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