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Wright Brothers' Bicycle shop

Wright Brothers' Bicycle shop.jpg Wright Brotherrs wind tunnelThumbnailsOctave Chanute experimenting with his gliders on the Michigan sand dunesWright Brotherrs wind tunnelThumbnailsOctave Chanute experimenting with his gliders on the Michigan sand dunesWright Brotherrs wind tunnelThumbnailsOctave Chanute experimenting with his gliders on the Michigan sand dunes

Out in Dayton, Ohio, there were two small brothers, who dreamed, as countless other children before them had dreamed, of flying like birds through the air. Their dreams were heightened by a small toy given to them by their father, the pastor of a local church. This toy was to lead to an idea which had a profound effect on the world. You would probably call it a flying propeller. It consisted of a wooden propeller which slipped over a notched stick. By placing a finger against the propeller and rapidly pushing it up the notched stick, the propeller was made to whirl up off the end of the stick and fly into the air. The brothers, young as they were, never quite forgot this little toy as they continued to dream of flying like birds through the air.

Though the brothers continued to dream of flying, they were not the kind of lads who spent all their time in dreaming. They made kites which flew a little better and a little higher than those made by the other boys in the neighborhood. They built a press to print their own little newspaper, and they dabbled in woodcuts. To carve out porch posts for their father’s home they built an eight-foot wood-turning lathe. Indeed, they were the sort of boys who caused the neighbors to say, “What will they think of next?”

The brothers knew that if they ever wanted to see their dreams come true they must earn their own capital. In the early nineties America was in the midst of the bicycle craze. Everyone who could possibly afford to do so owned a bicycle of some sort and belonged to a cycle club. Being mechanically minded, the brothers did the logical thing. They set themselves up in a small bicycle shop in Dayton, next door to their home.

The bicycle shop in Dayton prospered, for the brothers were careful and expert mechanics, and cyclists in need of repairs made their way to the Wright Brothers’ shop.

Author
The Story of American Aviation
By James G. Ray
Published in 1946
Available from gutenberg.org
Keywords
America, Flight
Albums
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