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Collection Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers at the Library of Congress

1911 to 1929

  • March 12, 1911

    Wilbur leaves for Europe to testify in a French Wright patent suit in Paris and to train pilots in Germany.

    [Telegram from Katherine to Orville Wright. . .], Family Papers: Correspondence --Wright, Katharine, 1912-1918. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
  • Jan-April 1912

    Wilbur and Orville testify for patent infringement lawsuits.

  • May 30, 1912

    Wilbur dies of typhoid fever in Dayton.

    Wilbur Wright funeral - crowds outside 1st Presbyterian church, Dayton, 1912 June. George Grantham Bain Collection, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress. LC-USZ62-86251.
  • February 10, 1913

    Orville and Katharine leave for Europe on business and return March 19.

  • March 25-27, 1913

    Miami River floods and causes considerable damage to the Wright family home and property in Dayton. Wrights' collection of glass plate photographic negatives as well as early business and aviation records are damaged.

    "It's Going to Get Us All!" Scrapbooks: December 1910-March 1914. The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
  • January 13, 1914

    U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals of New York rules in favor of the Wright Company in its suit against Herring-Curtiss Company and Glenn H. Curtiss.

    "Wright Warns All Airmen Not to 'Infringe,'" 21 February 1914. Scrapbooks: December 1910-March 1914, The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers. Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
  • November 16, 1914

    Wright Company files a complaint against Curtiss Aeroplane Company for continuing to manufacture, use, and sell flying machines which infringe on Wright patent.

  • April-May 1915

    Orville involved in patent infringement lawsuits.

  • August 1915

    In its 1914 annual report, the Smithsonian Institution states that Samuel P. Langley's aerodrome was "the first aeroplane capable of sustained free flight with a man." This statement leads to the controversy between Orville and the Smithsonian Institution that is not resolved until 1942.

  • October 15, 1915

    Orville sells his interest in the Wright Company but serves as consulting engineer.

  • August 7, 1916

    Wright Company merges with Glenn L. Martin Company, becoming Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation. Orville serves as chief consultant engineer.

  • 1917

    Orville establishes Wright Aeronautical Laboratory in Dayton.

  • April 3, 1917

    Bishop Milton Wright dies in Dayton.

  • January 13, 1920

    Orville gives depositions for patent lawsuits.

  • January 29, 1920

    President Wilson appoints Orville a member of National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. He serves until his death in 1948.

    [Letter, President Woodrow Wilson to Orville Wright, 29 January 1920]. General Correspondence: Wilson, Woodrow, 1920. Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.
  • May 23, 1920

    Wilbur and Orville's brother Reuchlin Wright dies in Kansas City, Missouri.

  • February 2, 1921

    Orville gives depositions for patent lawsuits.

  • January 20, 1925

    Orville issued a patent for a mechanical toy. The toy is produced and sold by the Miami Specialty Wood Company in Dayton, of which Lorin Wright is president.

  • May

    Orville and the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution publicly disagree over whether Samuel Langley's Aerodrome or the Wrights' airplane was the first capable of flight.

  • November 20, 1926

    Katharine Wright marries Henry J. Haskell.

  • January 31, 1928

    In response to the Smithsonian controversy, Orville ships the 1903 Wright airplane to the Science Museum in London, England, as a five-year loan.

  • February 27, 1929

    Distinguished Flying Crosses awarded to Orville and Wilbur presented to Orville by Secretary of War Dwight F. Davis.

  • March 3, 1929

    Katharine Wright Haskell dies of pneumonia in Kansas City.

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