Orville Wright was
born on August
19, 1871 on 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton,
Ohio. He was the fourth
child of Bishop Milton Wright and Susan Catharine Wright.
Orville grew up in
an atmosphere that was loving, and that nurtured all types of
expression. Orville wrote of his childhood: "We were lucky enough
to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement
to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever
aroused curiosity(ref)." The two
libraries in the Wright house were especially encouraging of academic
Orville was the more
mischievous of the two brothers, had a healthy childhood, and
wasn't inclined to excessive study. He was also "a
champion bicyclist and so the brothers went into the bicycle business,
which gave full vent to their mechanical aptitude (ref)."
Orville's Class of 1890
photograph, and a closeup of Orville as a high school student.
His adventurous nature
and drive to succeed combined with his brother Wilbur's research
skills to achieve what is considered by many to be the greatest,
most influential accomplishment of the 20th century. Their feat
changed the way we live our lives, the way we see the world and
"revolutionized both peace and war(ref)."
The entry from Orville's
journal on that historic day follows:
death in 1912, Orville carried their legacy alone towards an exciting
the hot new arena of aviation business proved volatile, and Orville
sold the Wright company in 1916 (ref).
built himself an aeronautics laboratory, and returned to what
had made he and his brother so famous: inventing.
He also stayed active
in the public eye, promoting aeronautics, inventing, and the historic
first flight that he made.
Above is a photograph
of founding members of NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics)
at Committee meeting in 1929. Dr. Orville Wright served on NACA
for 28 years. NASA (National
Aeronautics and Space Agency) was created from the National Advisory
Committee on Aeronautics in 1958.
8, 1930: Orville Wright receives the first Daniel Guggenheim Medal.
The Daniel Guggenheim Medal, awarded for "great achievements in
aeronautics," was established in 1928 by the Daniel Guggenheim
Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics. It is now administered
jointly by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics,
the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Society of Engineers,
and the United Engineering Trustees, Inc
April 29, 1936: Orville
Wright was elected a member of the National
Academy of Sciences.
Orville Wright, along
with others, visiting the Aircraft Engine Research Laboratory
in Cleveland, Ohio, now known as John
H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field, on dedication day.
The place Orville called
home from 1914 until his death: Hawthorn Hill in Oakwood, Ohio.
He and Wilbur planned
the design of the house together, but Wilbur passed away before
January 30 1948: Orville
Wright died in Dayton, Ohio, at the age of 76, thus ending his
28 years as a member of the NACA. NASA was created from NACA 10
years after Orville's death. In his lifetime, the speed of the
airplane had been increased from 0 mph to almost 1,000 mph.
Orville's Home at Hawthorn
Hill still stands as a tourist attraction today.