The Wright Brothers

By Jesse Bonnet

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Early Life

Wilbur Wright was born in Millville, Indiana, in 1867 and his brother Orville was born in Dayton, Ohio in 1871. Their father was a traveling preacher, and their mother was an adept mechanic. The brothers' life was very interesting, with five other siblings to deal with. oth went to Richmond High School, but they never went to college-Wilbur because he injured his face in hockey and wanted to take care of his invalid mother, Orville because he didn't feel he needed to.

Career and Inventions

In high school, the Wright brothers opened up a printing business. They tried to print newspapers for a while, but it never really worked. After high school, the brothers opened up a bicycle repair shop, and even ended up making their own. Soon, however, their minds turned to the sky, and they became the first-ever aviators, building planes and gliders with parts from their shop. Most early efforts failed, until the brothers looked at buzzards and realized that any successful aircraft would have to be able to bank left or right to keep balance. It was when this epiphany came that the airplane designs really took off (no pun intended.)
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Events before the Invention

The years leading up to the invention of the airplane were filled with innovations in flight technology-for example, the steam-powered bat-wing airplane called the Eole, or the International Conference on Aerial Navigation. All of these things informed and inspired the Wright brothers to study flight and make the first powered controlled aircraft.

Awards and Opinions

During their lifetime and after, people respected and admired the Wright brothers (except for those who felt they had stolen ideas for the airplane, that is.) Because of this, the Wright brothers won numerous awards, but the most prestigious is probably the Congressional Medal of Honor, awarded after a successful tour of Europe.

The Ends

Unfortunately, all good things-even people-must come to an end. Wilbur Wright, oldest of the brothers, died in 1912 of typhoid. Orville died 36 years later of a heart attack. Their legacy, however, will live on as long as there are planes in the sky.

Sources

Almost all info comes from wright-brothers.com. I am indebted to that website; without it, my paper would be filled with faulty information.