The Wright Brothers

An Unusual Childhood

On April 16, 1867 Wilbur Wright was born. Four years later on August 19, 1871 Orvile Wright was born. Both were born in Dayton, Ohio.

When Wilbur turned six he got a top for his birthday from his dad and when Orvile turned six his present was a toy helicopter.

In 1882 Orvile and Wilbur Wright invented a new kite and sold them and made money. A few years later they made stilts for all the kids in the neighborhood and soon enough adults were walking in streets to avoid being knocked over by children.

Then many years after, the Wrights moved when the wrights were playing war when some real Indians came out of the woods. When Wilbur told them how good Orvile could hit targets the Indians asked him to hit a crow. Orvile took aim and hit the crow. Then a man came out of the woods and asked who hit the crow. Orvile said he did. The man said the crow was his daughters and he wanted money for the crow.

The next day one of the Indians came over and gave Orvile a crow to give to the man. Orvile gave the crow to the man and he thanked Orvile for the crow, then he left.

One day Wilbur and Orvile decided to open a circus. They asked their friends to help them with the circus. They made a poster. Wilbur, Orville, and their friends put on a parade. Later they put on a show of Little Red Riding Hood. The next show was suppose to be Buffalo Bill But the boy said he was to hot in his clothing so he would not go out on stage. The boy left and undressed. Then he went out side and shouted out “There is not going to be another show so just go home”. Orvile and Wilbur did not care they had all ready had enough money, so they just let the boy do what he wanted to do.

A few years later the wrights moved back to Dayton, Ohio. After that they were sent to school. They were told to walk to school. They did but their friend said he had a sewing machine. The Wright’s were so interested in the sewing machine that they did not want to go to school. They went to their friend’s house and worked on the sewing machine. When the teacher called the wrights’ parents and their friends parents they were very frustrated. They looked every where and found the boys in a barn. The adults told them to go back to school. They went to school and went home.

Opening a Bicycle Shop

One day in the year 1893 Orvile and Wilbur Wright decided to open a bicycle shop in Dayton Ohio. They had many customers in there. Everyday they earned a lot of money.

One day as the Wrights were working on a bicycle for one of their most common customers an idea popped into Wilbur and Orville’s’ heads. They would make the tires on the bicycle the same size. Then the bicycle would be much safer to ride around the town of Dayton.

As soon as they started to make the new bicycle new people started to buy the new bicycle more often. The wrights had to make the new bicycle more often then the old bicycle. Soon enough all the old bicycles disappeared and new bicycles were everywhere. Wilbur and Orvile were very proud of their accomplishment.

The Wright Cycle Company was located at 1127 W. 3rd St. Dayton, Ohio.

Then one day the Wrights decided to make a glider in the back of the bicycle shop. First they made air tables for the glider that they would fly at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Then they had to make the glider pieces and fit them together and make sure they fit together properly. Finally they put the parts of the glider into boxes the ship to Kitty Hawk with themselves.

They did not plan on Leaving for a while so they got to work on next season’s bicycles.

Orvile and Wilbur Wright had one of their own stile bicycles that they made and named themselves. They called the Wright Special. People were always buying the Wright Special for one reason or another. Some people bought the Wright Special just because they wanted to give Orvile and Wilbur Wright money to help them out and to have a good bicycle to ride to town. Others bought the Wright Special because they needed the best bicycle in town to travel very far to other towns.

Then very soon after Wilbur and Orvile started to make the parts of the glider some customers found out and they spread the word all around the town of Dayton. Orvile and Wilbur were not very pleased about the fact the word was spread around the city of Daytona.

Now everyone wanted to see the glider. Orvile and Wilbur Wright were so fed up that they finally decided to leave for Kitty Hawk, North Carolina as soon as the bicycle season was over. Then they left for Kitty Hawk.

Flying Kites and Gliders

When they reached Kitty Hawk, North Carolina they stayed with Dan Tate for a day then they set up camp a half a mile from Dan Tate’s house. The year was 1900.

Wilbur Wright said it would take about two weeks to put the glider together, but it took more than two weeks to put together. Then there was bad wind. Finely they found good wind to fly in.

They tried to fly but the glider did not have the power to lift into the air from the hill. Dan Tate was very impressed with the glider and the way it looked. The Wrights were far from impressed with the glider so they just left the glider and returned home to Dayton.

It is the year 1901 and they made a new glider in the bicycle shop. They made it bigger and heavier than last year’s glider. They went to Kitty Hawk to test the new glider.

First they were not able to build the glider because of the mosquitoes attacking them. After the rain came and went. They were delayed for two months. Finally they put the glider together and took the glider out to test it. The same problem as last year occurred with the new glider. That was a very hard mystery to solve for Orvile and Wilbur.

They attempted many more glides in the 1901 glider at Kill Devil Hill in Kitty Hawk.

It was so disappointing that they left Kitty Hawk. On the way home Wilbur said, “Some day man will fly buy it won’t be in our life time. It won’t be in a thousand years!”

Of course Orvile did not let his brother get too carried away with these crazy things be would say to Orvile.

In 1902 the Wrights rebuilt the 1901 model and put a wind tunnel on the 1901 glider. When they tested the glider it flew very well so they kept flying the glider. This time when Dan Tate came Mr. Chanute came too.

They helped Orvile and Wilbur push the glider down the big Kill Devil Hill. On October, 1902 Wilbur and Orvile made nearly one thousand glides, some that covered 100 feet. Some glides were in thirty six mph.

Mr. Chanute brought his own glider that he had someone made. It was a triple-decker.

When the man tried to fly the glider it would not lift off the ground into the air. When the Wrights flew their glider it flew right off the ground and into the air. It impressed Mr. Chanute and the man that flew his glider.

Flying Under Power

In 1903 the Wright brothers made a new glider. Then they write to many engine places. All of the engine places said no.

Orvile and Wilbur got with their old friend and made a light weight 12 horse power engine to put on the glider.

Then they looked at boat propellers. They did not find what they were looking for. They had to make up their own kind of propeller. When the airplane was finished it had two propellers and a 12 horse power engine.

They left for Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. When they got there they put together the glider and tested the airplane. On the first try one of the propellers broke the shaft. They sent it back to Dayton to have it fixed. It came back three weeks later. Then the propellers kept coming loose. Wilbur put rubber cement to hold the propeller on the shaft.

It was then that they realized that one of the propellers was cracked. This time Orvile went back to fix it. He came back two weeks later with the new propeller.

They put the new propeller on the aircraft and tried to fly it. It was not windy enough.

They asked the life saving station to help them move the big 600 pound air craft to the rail where they would launch the heavy machine into the air. The life saving station came and helped them out. The life saving station was very surprised at the fact they were about to witness an aircraft in flight for the first time in history.

Wilbur asked one of the lifeguards to take a picture just as the plane was taking off the ground. Just as Orvile let go of the wing the lifeguard took the picture of the plane taking off.

The flight was 12 seconds long. Then Orvile took the controls.

Orvile flew for 59 seconds in the air.

The lifeguard station was very impressed with the flight in the air. They said they were very impressed with the airplane and would like to see it again in the air flying and turning at the same time.

The wrights did as they asked.

As they left a gust of wind took the aircraft from them. It went rolling around and broke to pieces. Then Wilbur and Orvile went home for the year.


Orvile and Wilbur Wright sold many of their aircraft to the U.S. military and the French. They made a lot of money from that. Years after the Wright Brothers, Wilbur and Orvile made history of flying aircraft the National Park Service built a memorial for Wilbur and Orvile Wright.

Some years after the National Park Service made the memorial for Wilbur and Orvile Wright, known as the Wright Brothers. The National Park Service made statues of Wilbur and Orvile Wright and later on put the statues in a museum for everyone to see. Many people visit Kill Devil Hill every year.

They love the site and the view from Kill Devil Hill and other places at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A lot of them are glad they went to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.


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