February 28, 1930

Orville Wright Sets the Record Straight About the First Flight

Typed Letter Signed
1 page
SMC 728
To the Virginia historian Henry S. Rorer, Orville Wright, some twenty-seven years after the fact, sets the record straight on the first flight and Wright Flyer, in three particulars:

1) In the historic photo taken of the first flight ever, on December 17, 1903 he, Orville, is the pilot “on the machine” and his brother Wilbur is “running along beside the plane.”

2) Their sister Katharine did not contribute “financially and materially toward the building of the first plane.” What she did give was great encouragement, as she had “the fullest confidence in our experiments.”

3) Orville and Wilbur alone financed all their experiments, and even “sewed all the cloth used in our first gliders and aeroplane.”

Orville was a plain-spoken Midwesterner, and the fuss that surrounded his epic achievement was, to him, just silly: it would not be a “pretty” story, this letter attests, if he could help it – which, really, he could not.
Typed Letter Signed, 1 page, quarto, on his personal letterhead, Dayton Ohio, February 28, 1930. To Henry S. Rorer in Norfolk, Virginia. With typewritten transmittal envelope.
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