Charles Furnas 1880- 1941
In 1908, West Milton native Charles Furnas worked as a machinist in Dayton doing odd jobs for the Wright Brothers, the inventors of the first practical airplane. At that time the U.S. Army had agreed to purchase an aircraft from the Wright Brothers provided it would carry a pilot and a passenger. Furnas worked with the brothers to adapt their plane. On May 14, 1908, he flew first with Wilbur and then with Orville, becoming the world's first airplane passenger.
Following the test flights in 1908, the Wright Brothers engaged Charles Furnas full time. As the first person hired to build airplanes, he was the first employee in what would become the aerospace industry. He worked with Orville and Wilbur to develop "Signal Corps No. I," America's first military aircraft and the beginning of the U.S. Air Force. He left employment with the Wright Brothers to start a garage in West Milton, but remained friends. Orville attended his funeral in 1941.
Erected 2008 by Paul G. Duke Foundation Hale Sarver Funeral Home West Milton Chamber of Commerce The Ohio Historical Society. (Marker Number 31- 55.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Ohio Historical Society / The Ohio History Connection marker series.
Location. 39° 58.004′ N, 84° 19.72′ W. Marker is in West Milton, Ohio, in Miami County. Marker is at the intersection of North Miami Street (Ohio Route 48) and Cemetery Road, on the right when traveling north on North Miami Street. Click for map. marker is on the lawn in front of the Hale Sarver Funeral Home. Marker is at or near this postal address: 284 N Miami St, West Milton OH 45383, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. West Milton Korean War Memorial (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Underground Railroad in West Milton (approx. 0.2 miles away); West Milton Friends Meeting (approx. ¼ mile away); 1804 Quaker Meeting House (approx. 2.2 miles away); The Brick Wall (approx. 2.2 miles away); John Hoover (approx. 2.2 miles away); Hanktown (approx. 3.2 miles away); 1804 Iddings Log House (approx. 3.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in West Milton.
Categories. • Air & Space • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Rev. Ronald Irick of West Liberty, Ohio. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.