Lot 12
  • 12

Wright, Wilbur

Estimate
20,000 - 30,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • "Some Aeronautical Experiments." Offprint from: The Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, Chicago: December, 1901 
  • leather, ink, paper
8vo (230 x 152 mm). 22, [1] pp. With 2 line block, and 10 quarter page half-tone illustrations. Original tan printed wrappers, stamped on the upper right corner "With respects of O. Chanute. Consulting Engineer." Some very minor internal offsetting, wrappers rebacked, some very light discoloration to wrappers, corners lightly worn, one very small edge-tear to front wrapper, still an attractive copy of a fragile work. In a half-morocco clamshell with cloth chemise.

Literature

Dibner Heralds of Science 185; Dictionary of Scientific Biography XIV 520-1; Heirs of Prometheus (Smithsonian Institution 1978), p 15; Norman 2266

Catalogue Note

THE RARE FIRST EDITION, OFFPRINT ISSUE OF THE WRIGHT BROTHERS' FIRST PUBLISHED REPORT ON THE TRIAL FLIGHTS AT KITTY HAWK —  AN IMPORTANT ASSOCIATION COPY WITH THE PRESENTATION STAMP OF FRENCH AVIATION PIONEER OCTAVE CHANUTE.

"[T]he work that made their experiments famous" (Norman). In this paper, Wilbur Wright describes the progress of trials conducted on the beach at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, during the summer of 1901, during which they achieved glides of up to 389 feet. "Their work was painstaking, thoroughly scientific, with a careful tabulation of data and critical examination of all conclusions. The glides indicated that a vertical steering rudder was essential ... and that calculations based on existing data were in error" (DSB). Wilbur and Orville Wright became interested in the practical possibility of human flight following the research of German aviation pioneer Otto Lilienthal (d. 1896). After three years of intensive research, they built their first machine, a biplane kite-glider with a fine-foot wingspan, modeled on the glider of Octave Chanute, but in a crucial advance, incorporating wing-warps, which provided a heretofore non-existent degree of lateral control. A year later they built their first full-size glider, with a 17-foot wingspan, and shortly thereafter, in the summer of 1900, a larger glider with a 22-foot wingspan. The Wrights reported their results to the Society of Engineers at the urging of Chanute, its president, whose own experimental trials were an important stepping-stone to the Wright Brothers' success. Chanute, in a visionary move, had three hundred offprints of the paper printed (the printing of separately issued offprints was relatively unusual for engineering journals) sending half to colleagues, and the other half to the Wright Brothers.

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