The Wright Brothers.

“If we all worked on the assumption that what is accepted as true is really true, there would be little hope of advance": First Edition of The Wright Brothers; Inscribed by Orville Wright to Sir Bennett Melvill Jones

The Wright Brothers.

KELLY, Fred C.; Introduction by Orville Wright.


Item Number: 140081

New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1943.

First edition of this classic American biography authorized by Orville Wright and long considered the definitive Wright biography. Octavo, original blue cloth, illustrated with 16 pages of photographs. Association copy, inscribed by Orville Wright in the year of publication on the half-title page, “To Professor Melvill Jones with my compliments and cordial regard. Orville Wright May 5, 1943.” The recipient, Sir Bennett Melvill Jones was Francis Mond Professor of Aeronautical Engineering at the University of Cambridge from 1919 to 1952. Melvill demonstrated the importance of streamlining in aircraft design, developing the ideas of Louis Charles Breguet into a refined theory to demonstrate emphatically the importance of drag to the performance of aircraft. Introduction by Orville Wright. Housed in a custom slipcase.

In this fascinating, highly readable biography, Fred C. Kelly, a former newspaperman, author, and an old friend of the Wrights, tells the story of the two brilliant, dedicated, flight-obsessed bicycle mechanics from Ohio who first realized mankind's age-old dream of conquering the skies. Long considered the definitive Wright biography (the manuscript was read and approved by Orville Wright), this book recounts the Wrights' small-town boyhood, their early interest in all things mechanical, the establishment of the Wright Cycle Shop, and the complete behind-the-scenes story of how they designed, built, tested, and flew (December 1903) the first "Flyer."

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