Wright Brothers are the greatest inventors of all time who successfully discovered a device that could fly, i.e., the Airplane. Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright are the masterminds who dedicatedly planned, observed, and implemented several theories that made humankind fly to different world destinations in a short period.
It appears that the fame and recognition of Wilbur have outshined Orville. However, he has contributed equally to this great discovery. In this article, we will thoroughly talk about Orville in brief. Let get started with some quick facts below;
Some Quick Facts About Orville Wright
The Wright Brothers, The Bishop Boys, Wil, and Ovi
August 19, 1871
Age of Death
76 years old
Susan Catherine Koerner
Twin Ida and Otis
Orville Wright Childhood, Nationality, Birth Place, Family
This American inventor was born on August 19 in the year of 1871. He spent his childhood happily near Millville, Indiana, with his family. His father’s name was Milton Wright, who worked as a bishop in the United Brethren Church in Christ. Similarly, his mother’s name was Susan Catherine Koerner.
In addition to this, Orville belonged to mixed ethnicity as his father descended from German and Swiss, whereas his mother came from the Vanderbilt family and Huguenot Gano family. Not to mention, there were seven siblings in the Wright family. As a matter of fact, he was the fourth child after Wilbur, Reuchlin (1861 to 1920), and Lorin (1862 to 1939).
As a matter of fact, Orville was blessed to have twin Ida and Otis, who died in infancy. During their childhood, the wright family migrated from one place to another and finally settled in Dayton in 1884. Prior to this, they had already moved 12 times. There is no doubt that Wright belonged to an American background.
When they lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1878, his father brought a toy helicopter for them. The device constituted of paper, bamboo, cork, and a rubber band to power it. It was approximately about 1 foot (30 cm) long and was based on the invention of French aeronautical pioneer Alphonse Penaud. Later, the toy was broken, and they decided to make their own.
Orville Wright Education
Unlike his brother Wilbur, Orville was the notorious one. Although he was involved in several mischievous acts, he was as bright as his brother. As a matter of fact, it is reported that he was a budding inventor far more than his brother. Since his childhood, Orville was optimistic and full of energy to try out new things and learn as much as possible.
Talking about education, he did not graduate from any university. But that does not indicate that he was not educated. He enrolled in an elementary school where he gained most of his knowledge. Not to mention he was once expelled due to his mischief. Later on, Orville left his junior high to initiate a printing business in 1889.
Previously, Orville started a printing business and launched a weekly newspaper named the West Sice News. Later on, his brother Wilbur assisted him in the industry. Surprisingly in April 1890, both of them became successful in converting the weekly paper to daily, The Evening Item. However, the business lasted for four months, and later they indulged themselves in commercial printing.
Some of their clients included an old friend Paul Laurence Dunbar who made his name as an African-American poet and writer. For some time, Orville and Wilbur printed Dayton Tattler. After this, both of them were knacked to produce a bicycle. Eventually, in 1892, they opened a sales and repair ship named the Wright Cycle Exchange ( later named Wright Cycle Company). By 1896, they were making their brand.
Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright Inventions
Although both brothers were busy with their bicycle brands, they always followed most of the scientific research and mechanical project. Among them, the Wright brothers were impressed by the work of German aviator Otto Lilienthal. Sadly, the German inventor died in a glider crash, and from that moment on, they were determined to continue his experiments.
To be precise, they started their work by traveling to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. During that time, it was the place that was infamous for strong wind current, and that was exactly what they needed. Moving on, they did their own observation and derived the idea from the way birds would fly. In conclusion, they witnessed birds angling their wings to maintain balance and control; they coined a concept named “wing warping.”
On December 17, 1903, they discovered the first mantra and succeeded in making the first free, controlled power-driven flight which was a bit heavy than an airplane. At first, Wilbur flew the plane for approximately 59 seconds at a distance of 852 feet.
Fame and Recognition
Wright made the most significant discovery of that era. Despite all this, the media did not believe in their achievement and bad-mouthed them. In order to sell planes and advertise their work, Wilbur decided to travel Europe. During his time in France, several people recognized him and praised his work.
During the year 1909, Orville and his sister Katherine joined Wilbur in Europe. In a short time, they were making public flights, gave rides to bigwigs such as politicians, journalists, officials, royals, and many more. In a matter of time, they became celebrity-hosted by royals, heads of state and often made headlines. Their venture started from Europe and continued in the different places of the United States.
Their idea mushroomed, and soon they became a wealthy businessman and made contracts in Europe and the US. Not to mention the wright brothers shared credit for their invention equally. Even though it was Wilbur who schemed all the matter but it was Orville who executed the plans. He was the man behind the curtain.
In 1899-1900 biographer noticed that his elder brother took the initiative for writing my plans and my machine. However, after Orville got pretty serious in his work, Wilbur denoted their work as we and our. After the premature demise of Wilbur on May 30, Oliver took over the Wright Company.
However, he sold his business in 1915 and dedicated his work to National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), predecessor agency to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). In 1930, Oliver for the first Daniel Guggenheim Medal was established in 1928. In 1936, Wright became part of the National Academy of Sciences.
Orville Wright Death
Orville died at the age of 76 in the year 1948 on January 30. The cause of his death was a heart attack. His body is buried in the family plot at Woodland Cemetery, located in Dayton, Ohio.
Some Amazing Orville Wright Facts
- Orville was named after Orville Dewey, while Wilbur was named after Wilbur Fisk.
- Wilbur and Orville are recognized with different names such as Will and Orv, The Wright Brothers, The Bishop’s Boys, to name a few.
- None of the Wright siblings have a middle name.
- The Wright brother never accomplished their diploma.
- The Wright brothers never walked down the aisle.
- In 1889, The Wright Brothers printed a daily newspaper, the West Side.
- Orville was the one to take the first flight as he won the coin toss against Wilbur.
- In 1878, the Wright brothers got a model helicopter made out of bamboo, cork, paper boosted by a rubber band which later sparked their passion for aviation.
- Orville’s father was afraid of losing both of his dear sons in an airplane accident; therefore, the Wright brothers flew together only once on May 25, 1910, for six-minute in Dayton.
- When Orville drove his 82-year-old father on his first and only flight, he screamed Higher, Orville, higher.
- Orville got into the first fatal aviation accident on September 17, 1908, while demonstrating it to the U.S. Army. Unfortunately, Orville was hospitalized for six weeks and had four broken ribs, a fractured leg, and a severe back injury.
- Orville never agreed to donate the Wright Flyer to the Smithsonian Institution for a decade.
- The first man on the moon Neil Armstong took a piece of muslin fabric from the left-wing of the original 1903 Wright Flyer and a bit of wood from the Airplane’s left propeller when he steps in the moon for the first time in 1969.
Orville Wright Quotes
- “We had taken up aeronautics merely as a sport. We reluctantly entered upon the scientific side of it.” ― Orville Wright, The Early History of the Airplane
- “Learning the secret of flight from a bird was a good deal like learning the secret of magic from a magician.”
- “The exhilaration of flying is too keen, the pleasure too great, for it to be neglected as a sport.”
- “When he learned that we were interested in flying as a sport, and not with any expectation of recovering the money we were expending on it, he gave us much encouragement.” ― Orville Wright, The Early History of the Airplane
Social Media Presence
Orville is not active on any social media platforms.