Inventor Spotlight: The Wright Brothers

C4IP is recognizing Wilbur and Orville Wright, better known as the “Wright Brothers,” for inventing the airplane.

The Wright Brothers grew up in Dayton, Ohio, in the late 1800s. Neither brother attended university, and they opted to launch the West Side News, a local newspaper company, in 1889. The two ultimately opened up a bike shop in 1892 amid their growing popularity. German aviator Otto Lilinethal’s death in a glider crash inspired the brothers to begin flight experiments of their own in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Finally, on December 17, 1903, the brothers soared through the skies in their first successful flight.

In 1906, the brothers received a patent for their unique flying method. By 1908, the Wright Brothers began selling planes to the U.S. War Department. They launched the Wright Company just a year later and built a manufacturing facility in their hometown of Dayton, Ohio. Today, commercial aviation supports more than 10 million American jobs and generates around $1.25 trillion for the U.S. economy each year.

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