DescriptionOrville Wright Typed Letter Signed. Two pages, 7.25" x 10.5", Dayton, Ohio, May 16, 1940, on Orville Wright's personal letterhead. The co-inventor of the first successful airplane responds to questions posed by John Walter Wood of New York, who was researching for his book Airports: Some Elements of Design and Future Development (1940). Wood had written two previous letters, dated February 21 and February 27, 1940, in which he asked Orville Wright to read a chapter from his upcoming book and verify certain statements. (Carbon copies of both of Wood's letters are included in this lot [the manuscript chapter from Wood's book is not included].) Wright's response reads in part, "In looking over some of your former letters I find that I have not answered your letters of February 21st and February 27th. I shall try to do that in this letter. First in regard to 'Wright Field 1904-1905': On page 1, last line, the length of the 1901 wind tunnel is given as 8 feet instead of 6 feet. I should have noticed this error in former drafts but failed to do so. Page 2 . . . ." Wright continues with several more corrections and suggestions. All three letters have two file holes along the top margin and are in fine condition.
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 numerous letters soliciting information from Wright concerning 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.
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