DECEMBER 16, 2021 – DAYTON, OHIO
On December 17, 1903, Orville Wright made the first successful flight on the beaches of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He and his brother, Wilbur, made three more historic flights that day. Now, 118 years later, some of the last remaining wing coverings from that original Wright Flyer are being gifted to Carillon Historical Park in Dayton, Ohio.
The Wright brothers covered their flying machine’s wings with “Pride of the West” muslin purchased at the Rike Dry Goods Company in downtown Dayton. Amanda Wright-Lane and Stephen Wright, the Wright brothers’ great-grandniece and nephew, have donated to Carillon Park the family’s largest five-foot-wide sections of the muslin that covered the lower left wing of the 1903 Wright Flyer.
After the 1903 flight, the Wright brothers stored the airplane in a shed behind their 7 Hawthorn Street home. In 1926, before he sent the airplane to England for display at the British Science Museum, Orville put new muslin on the plane and put the original muslin in storage. After his death in 1948, the original muslin was given to members of the Wright family.
Amanda said, “uncles Wilbur and Orville Wright would be pleased to know that part of their 1903 Wright Flyer, the machine that launched the Space Age, is going to be preserved for future generations by a museum of Carillon Park’s stature!”
Brady Kress, Carillon Park’s President, remarked, “The fabric represents a tangible connection with one of the most spectacular achievements in human history. Our museum’s founder, Edward A. Deeds, worked closely with his friend Orville Wright to establish at Carillon Park what is now the Wright Brothers National Museum. Carillon Park’s collection contains more three-dimensional Wright family artifacts than any other institution in the world, and displays much of it in its Wright Brothers National Museum complex at Carillon Park. We are thrilled to add the 1903 muslin to this collection!”
Carillon Historical Park
Carillon Historical Park is part of Dayton History, a private non-profit organization established to preserve, share, and celebrate our region’s history. The Park’s 65-acre campus is home to over 30 historic structures and cares for over three million artifacts. In addition to Carillon Historical Park, the following sites rest under Dayton History’s care: Carillon Brewing Co., Hawthorn Hill, Patterson Homestead, the Old Court House, the Mound Cold War Discovery Center, Memorial Hall, and the Archive Center.