Hooray for Books and Reading discussion

The Wright Brothers > 5. Why were brothers dismissed in US but seriously taken in France.

Comments Showing 1-8 of 8 (8 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Carol (new)

Carol (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
5. Why were the Wright brothers dismissed in the United States but taken seriously in France? What was the difference in culture and/or politics that generated interest on the part of the French but not the Americans?

message 2: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 562 comments I think the Smithsonian project disaster was a big reason the US wasn't interested. They didn't want to fund anymore money into flights that plunged into the ocean. So everything flight related was immediately dismissed.

The French could see the amazement right from the git-go.

message 3: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments Reminds me of the scripture: "A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house."

message 4: by Carol (new)

Carol (cajonesdoa) | 690 comments Mod
This article by Fred Kelly, the Wright brothers' only "authorized" biographer, examines the popular myth that the Wrights were secretive, hiding their early aeronautical experiments from the eyes of the public. Kelly makes a convincing argument that they were not. Instead, he presents evidence that this was an excuse that American journalists adopted to cover their embarrassment for having completely overlooked the biggest story of the twentieth century. The truth of the matter was that the American media – in fact, the world media – just couldn't bring themselves to believe that men had flown.]

When Wilbur and Orville Wright had returned from Kitty Hawk, N. C, to their home in Dayton, Ohio, after their historic feat, on December 17, 1903, of becoming the first men ever to fly in a heavier-than-air machine, they naturally knew they "had something." They felt a glow of pride and satisfaction in having both invented and demonstrated the device that had baffled the ablest scientists through the centuries. But they did not expect to make their fortunes. True, they had applied for certain patents (not issued until 1906) nine months before they flew, but that was by way of establishing a scientific record. They hadn't even employed a patent lawyer.

Not long ago I asked Orville Wright: "What would you and Wilbur have taken for all your secrets of aviation, for all patent rights for the entire world if some one had gone along and made you an offer just after those first flights?"

"I don't know," he replied, thoughtfully; "but I imagine that if we had received an offer of ten thousand dollars we might have accepted it."

message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy | 522 comments Very interesting, Carol!

message 6: by Pam (new)

Pam | 218 comments My husband is a history buff - he said that many of our US inventors received no US funding - Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison.

message 7: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea | 562 comments That is interesting Carol!

message 8: by Barb (new)

Barb (deckerbunch) | 227 comments I agree with Pam. It's all about the money.

back to top