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Wilbur and Orville; A Biography of the Wright Brothers


Definitive, highly regarded study tells the full story of the brothers' lives and work — before, during and after the historic flight at Kitty Hawk: early experiments and glider flights on Indiana sand dunes, exhilarating days on North Carolina's Outer Banks, the bitter patent fight that followed, Wilbur's untimely death, and more.

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Wilbur and Orville: A Biography of the Wright Brothers

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Definitive, highly regarded study tells the full story of the brothers' lives and work — before, during and after the historic flight at Kitty Hawk: early experiments and glider flights on Indiana sand dunes, exhilarating days on North Carolina's Outer Banks, the bitter patent fight that followed, Wilbur's untimely death, and more.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As a former Library of Congress aeronautics editor who worked on the Wright papers, Howard is well qualified to write about the brothers and to redress the rumors, claims and falsifications that followed their successful flights. He establishes early on that the Wrights were not mere tinkerers who owned a Dayton bicycle shop but that they had sufficient background in mathematics and physics to be aware of the theory as well as the practice of flight. Much of the book is devoted to the brothers' efforts to market their invention, which proceeded slowly because they were not businessmen, and the difficulties they had with those who asserted that they, not the Wrights, were the first to fly. Throughout the biography there runs the thread of two loving brothers and the warm family life that helped to sustain them in their struggles. Commendably, Howard describes the technical features of their work in a fashion quite comprehensible to lay readers. A fine job. Photos not seen by PW. History Book Club alternate. (June 5)
Library Journal
In 1903 at Kitty Hawk, a man-carrying machine flew under its own power without losing speed or altitude. Among this book's many merits is making clear just what the Wright brothers really achieved before, during, and after that epic flight. Howard seems well qualified for the task. After Air Force service in World War II he joined the Library of Congress team that edited The Papers of Wilbur and Orville Wright (1953). His lively account is admirably well documented and more judiciously balanced than most other writings about the men who invented the airplane. For most libraries. B.C. Hacker, General Science Dept., Oregon State Univ. , Corvallis
Reprints the 1988 edition (Ballantine Books, Inc.) with corrections of dates and spelling and textual changes based on further research. The author covers the boys' childhood fascination with flight, their experimentation with gliders on the Indiana sand dunes, the first flyer and its runs on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, the patent fight and other legal battles that followed, Wilbur's early death, and Orville's later years. Also considered are the contributions of other aviation pioneers such as Octave Chanute, Alberto Santos- Dumont, and Pierpont Langley. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486402970
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 11/17/2011
  • Series: Dover Transportation Series
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 6.14 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Dover Edition
I. The House on Hawthorn Street
2. The Flying Men
3. In the Dunes of Indiana
4. The Twisted Box
5. A Perilous Passage
6. The Outer Banks
7. A Two-Man Association
8. The Camp at Big Hill
9. Trade Secrets
10. Well-Digging
11. Movable Wings
12. Two Talks
13. The First Flyer
14. A Race with the Weather
15. An Experiment in Aerodynamics
16. The First Four Flights
17. Fiction and Fact
18. The Year of the Fair
19. The Finished Flyer
20. A Bold Performance in California
21. The Thorn Tree
22. One Million Francs
23. "Frame, But Not Weatlh"
24. Bell's Boys
25. The Brothers Abroad
26. A Letter of Information
27. Return to Kitty Hawk
28. Wilbur Has the Jimjams
29. "Nous sommes battus"
30. Fort Myer
31. A Tragedy and a Comic Interlude
32. Camp d'Auvours
33. The Homecoming
34. Cross-Country
35. Herring and the Curtiss
36. The Races at Reims
37. The Last Public Flights
38. The Patent Wars Begin
39. End of a Friendship
40. Exit Herring
41. The Exhibition Business
42. Who Invented Wingwarping?
43. Vin Fiz
44. Wilbur
45. Company President
46. The Aerodrome Affair
47. End of the Patent Wars
48. War Comes to Dayton
49. Orville Alone
50. A Feud and a Celebration
51. End of the Feud
52. Orville's Shoes
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