Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    Orville Wright Typed Letter Signed and Wright's 1906 Aero Club Newsletter. The letter (two pages, 7.25" x 10.5", Dayton, Ohio, September 25, 1939, on Wright's personal letterhead) is written to author John Walter Wood of New York. Wright offers "some suggestions and corrections of the text" on Wood's upcoming book, Airports: Some Elements of Design and Future Development (1940). In part: "I have just returned from my summer vacation and find your letter of August 16th, (inclosing a scale plan of our Simms Station flying field with text), awaiting my attention. The scale plan of the Simms Station flying field seems to be correct. As you suggest I offer some suggestions and corrections of the text. First page, second paragraph: The population of Dayton is given as 180,700 for 1927. Probably this was some one's estimate." Wright goes on to correct information that Wood acquired from John R. McMahon's book, The Wright Brothers (1930)-a book Wright scorned: "Beginning near the bottom of page 1 is a record of several flights made in 1904 and 1905, taken from McMahon's book, 'The Wright Brothers'. Almost none of the data for these flights is correctly given. I therefore shall not attempt to correct them, but am sending you a bulletin of the Aero Club of America, March, 1906, which gives a correct account of the more important flights of 1904 and 1905. Not only were McMahon's figures incorrect for the flights of August 22nd and September 15th, 1904, but the nature of the flights were misrepresented. The flight of August 22nd was not even the longest up to that time, nor was the flight of September 15th the first circling flight in which a half circle was described. . . . I am sorry you got hold of this McMahon book and would prefer that you make no mention of it. It was an unauthorized publication and is extremely inaccurate. He had no right to publish it." Wright also corrects Wood's information on "Wright Field", the "catapult", and Amos T. Root who, in 1905, became the first witness of an airplane returning to its point of takeoff.

    Included is a bulletin published by the Aero Club of America (two pages, 8.5" x 11", March 12, 1906) containing a report supplied by Wilbur and Orville Wright about their aeronautical accomplishments of 1905. The report includes dates, distances, time lengths, and "Cause of Stopping" of their flights in September and October.

    John Walter Wood first met Orville Wright in 1935. Over the next twelve years, the two met on several occasions to discuss Wood's aeronautical writing projects. Between those visits, Wood wrote the inventor numerous letters soliciting information concerning the earliest aviation history (most of Wood's requests were for information about the Wright Brothers' flights from "Wright Field" near Dayton, Ohio, in 1904 and 1905). Wright seemed to happily comply with answers. Following the publication of Airports in 1940, Wood, who continued to correspond with Wright until the aviator's death in January 1948, served as an airport analyst with the Port of New York Authority from 1943-1944; later in 1945, he served with the Airport Development Branch, U.S. Air Force, in Washington, D.C. This letter, which contains a bold signature of Orville Wright, and the bulletin contain two file holes along the top margin; both are in fine condition.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2010
    8th-9th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 899

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 February 22 - 23 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 June 22 - 23 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential &  Political Americana, Part V - Dallas
    2019 June 22 - 23 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part V - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $744,706