Book Trailer The Noble Train

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Five Things You Didn't Know About the Wright Brothers

The first thing you don't know is that history was decided by a coin toss on December 14 1903 in Kitty Hawk. The Wright Brothers tossed a coin into the windswept air of Kill Devil Hills to decide who would fly first. Wilbur won the toss and on December 14 he went up and then down. The flight was not successful. That left Orville to fly on December 17 when the 1903 flyer would leave the earth for twelve seconds.

The Second thing is that Orville Wright had a girlfriend. Mabel Beck. History has told us that the Wright Brothers had no time for women with their pursuit of flying. Orville did. Mabel Beck was his secretary and she would become his secret lover. This would not be revealed until the 1990s when a man who saw the two in a lovers moment finally told a newspaper of what he saw in the 1930's. Wilbur had no girlfriend we know of.

The third thing is that both brothers dropped out of high school and lived at home with their father and sister their whole lives. They had no desire to leave the family home even as adults after they had become famous. Orville would finally buy a mansion after Wilbur died and the family would move there but neither brother ever would feel the urge to start a life apart from the family.

The fourth thing is Wilbur went to Kitty Hawk alone the first time and almost died. He had to cross Albemarle Sound to get to the Outer Banks. A storm hit while he was crossing and the sailboat took on water. He had to bail water to keep the boat afloat. His brother would later join him once Wilbur had set up camp.

The final thing is this. Wilbur Wright invented the airplane with help from his brother. This goes against the Wright Myth they did it together. But the truth is only Wilbur had the intellectual horsepower to crack the Gordian knot of human flight.

Wright Brothers Wrong Story

Books by William Hazelgrove