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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Indianapolis in Marion County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Wilbur and Orville Wright

(WW: April 16, 1867 - May 30, 1912 | OW: August 19, 1871 - January 30, 1948)

 
 
Wilbur and Orville Wright Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
1. Wilbur and Orville Wright Marker
Inscription.  Wilbur and Orville Wright were two of seven children of a church bishop and his wife and spent part of their childhood in Richmond, Indiana. The first aircraft they saw was a toy helicopter their father brought home from a business trip. After building and repairing presses, bicycles and other equipment, they read of early attempts to design flying machines. Early aircraft was wildly unsafe, crashing repeatedly and even killing their pilots. Realizing that flight control was more important than engine power, the Wrights studied previous inventors' designs and flight in nature in order to perfect their aircraft. They became the first human beings to pilot a controlled, engine-powered, heavier-than-air plane which they developed into the first practical fixed-wing aircraft.

1886
Wilbur injured his head while playing hockey with friends. After he recovered, the formerly athletic, outgoing young man became withdrawn and decided not to attend Yale University.

1889
Orville and Wilber designed and built a printing press, and launched their own printing business and The Westside News, a weekly publication.
Wilbur and Orville Wright Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, April 20, 2019
2. Wilbur and Orville Wright Marker
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Orville was the publisher and Wilber became the editor.

1892
Orville was a champion cyclist and the brothers opened wright Cycle Exchange, a bicycle shop to sell, repair and rent the new popular mode of transportation.

1899
After reading about glider flights and unpiloted powered aircraft, Wilbur wrote to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. for information about aeronautics.

Watershet Moment
1903

In 1903, after numerous experiments, the brothers succeeded in conducting four flights of a powered, piloted aircraft on December 17 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The longest flight lasted 59 seconds over 852 feet. Wilbur Wright served as pilot after winning the deciding coin toss.

1906
After studying birds and other inventors' aircrafts, they designed the three-axis control system to steer aircrafts safely. They were granted U.S. Patent 821393 for a "Flying Machine."

1909
The brothers incorporated the Wright Company to manufacture and sell aircraft. The company's factory was located in Dayton, Ohio, and its flight school was northeast of Dayton.
 
Erected by Cultural Trail Indianapolis.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & Space
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Communications. In addition, it is included in the Indiana, Cultural Trail Indianapolis series list. A significant historical date for this entry is December 17, 1886.
 
Location. 39° 46.609′ N, 86° 9.604′ W. Marker is in Indianapolis, Indiana, in Marion County. Marker is on West Walnut Street west of North Illinois Street, in the median. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 702 North Illinois Street, Indianapolis IN 46204, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Albert Einstein (a few steps from this marker); Andrew Carnegie (a few steps from this marker); Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt (within shouting distance of this marker); Booker T. Washington (within shouting distance of this marker); Jonas Salk (within shouting distance of this marker); Thomas Edison (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Mark Twain (about 300 feet away); Susan B. Anthony (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Indianapolis.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 107 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on April 27, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Apr. 22, 2021