5 phenomenal pieces of Wright Brothers memorabilia



2015-06-26 13:58:52

Check out these 5 phenomenal pieces of Wright Brothers memorabilia

Image: Heritage Auctions

5. Mayfield photographs

William Preston Mayfield was chief photographer for the Wright Brothers, capturing every aspect of their operation.

Marvin Christian, who worked with Mayfield in the 1950s, consigned this album containing 50 photographs.

He explained how: "Occasionally we would come across an old note on a piece of scrape paper that might read "need three prints for O.W." (Orville Wright).

"A few times I had to cringe as he would come across a glass plate, look at it carefully, and then slam it against the trash barrel shattering it into hundreds of pieces and say something like 'That S.O.B. never paid me for that shot!!'"

The lot made $12,000 at Heritage Auctions in 2006.

4. Prop shafts

Image: Cowan's Auctions 

In 2012, this set of prop shaft oilers and grease cups used on the 1904 and 1905 flyers crossed the block at Cowan's - achieving $8,000.

The 14 pieces lubricated the propellers and were presented to Louis P Christman, who worked on the restoration of the 1905 flyer in the late 1940s.

3. Wilbur Wright note

Wilbur Wright died of typhoid in 1912 at the age of 45. Consequently, his signature is rarer than his brothers and tends to command a higher value.  KCLCERWAKF
Image: Max Rambod Inc

This note reads: "Le Maus 14 December, 1908 to the Secretary of the Aero-Club de la.., I herewith beg to give to you for transmission to the Auo-Club of France, my entry for the Michelin Prize for which I desire to make trial on Wednesday, December 16, 1908 at the Camp D'Avions [Airplane Camp] Yours very truly". Signed, "Wilbur Wright".

It made $25,000 at Max Rambod inc in California.

2. Wilbur Wright speech

Image: Christie's

This autographed manuscript lays out Wilbur's famous speech to the Aero-Club de France in 1908 and sold for £61,875 ($94,298) at Christie's London last year.

It reads in part: "I must confess that as late as 1901 I myself said to my brother that men would not be flying within fifty years. In two years we were flying ourselves ... It is not necessary to look too far into the future.

"We can see far enough already to be certain that the future will be glorious."

**1. Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight **

Image: Philip Weiss Auctions 

Wilbur's personal copy of his 1903 paper Experiments and Observations in Soaring Flight realised $115,000 at Philip Weiss Auctions in 2008. 

Share on social media
Write a response...

The bookmarklet lets you save things you find to your collections.

Note: Make sure your bookmarks are visible.


Click and drag the Collect It button to your browser's Bookmark Bar.

collect it