Lot n° 196
3000 - 4000
Result with fees
: 3 900EUR
WRIGHT ORVILLE (1871-1948). Aviateur américain.
Signed letter, signed « Orville Wright », Dayton, Ohio 17 June 1926, to Mark SULLIVAN in Washington; 3 pages in-4 format, typed letter, on his name-imprinted letterhead (traces of rust from a paper clip and some stains); in English.
Important letter from Orville Wright relative to flight tests conducted with his brother Wilbur, and evoking past scientific feats including the invention of the airplane.
Mark SULLIVAN was a journalist who had just begun to publish on American lifestyle from 1900 to 1925, in a series called Our Times (6 vol.). An excerpt from the present letter is found in vol. II, America Finding Herself, 1927
“You ask why it was that the public took so little notice of our 1903 flights and not until 1908 awoke to the fact that human flight had actually been accomplished. I think this was mainly due to the fact that human flight was generally looked upon as an impossibility, and that scarcely any one believed in it until he actually saw it with his own eyes. Only a few, probably less than a dozen, saw these first flights of 1903. In 1904 and 1905 the number of witnesses was increased to a hundred or two; in 1908, to thousands. Hundreds of people have told me that they saw the first real demonstration of mechanical flight. But as hardly any two of these had seen the same flight, I have come to the conclusion that almost no one ever really believed who had not himself actually seen a flight […]
“You state in your letter that it is your intention to treat the invention of the airplane rather fully. I hope you will investigate fully a myth prevalent in America so long that now by many it is considered history. This is the myth that Langley was the author of the scientific data upon which the first successful man-carrying flying machine was based. This myth had its inception in publications put out by the Smithsonian in which a quotation from a personal letter written by us was artfully used to produce such an impression. The quo
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