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Wright Brothers memorabilia

What Aviation history collection would be complete without some Wright Brothers memorabilia? After we had assembled our collection of over 175 different pre-WWII aviation engines, (48 were WWI and earlier; 19 were the only ones known to exist) we thought it would be hard to top our enjoyment. Later, to our amazement, we were able to acquire a European collection of 395,000 pieces of WWI German and Austro-Hungarian aircraft items. Obviously, we thought, "We'll never comer across anything better that that!" One day we get a phone call offering us four full file cabinets of the original Wright Company archives, letters, ledgers, Executive Committee minutes and many incredibly historic, signed original document, of the birth of the Aviation Industry. After enjoying studying them for some years, we realized it was our responsibility to see that they were preserved and displayed for future generations, in a top-notch Aviation museum. They are now at Seattle Museum of Flight. Enjoyment of all the innovative and colorful ideas at the dawn of aviation cna be just as enjoyable through inexpensive postal cover collections with covers costing just a few dollars each-as it is with unique histori signed documents and brochures and rare photos. Here is a sampling of the Wright Bros. Memorabilia, that we enjoy.

Click on any of the images below for a better view.

Original Wright Articles
Original Wright Articles

As Dec. 17 showed, Wright aeroplanes had room for improvement. That was the feature article in this June, 1911 issue of FLIGHT. We have complete runs of most aero magazines up through WWI, in all languages, with many duplicates for sale or trade.

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Wright Medallions
Wright Medallions

Part of our collection of commemorative coins and medallions honoring the Wright Brothers.

Formation of The Wright Company
Formation of The Wright Company

One of the most important and valuable documents in aviation history. The Wright Brothers both signed and sealed this original contract to form The Wright Company in the United States. Their investors were some of the most powerful and wealthy men on Wall Street. This is the ORIGINAL signature page of the seven page contract. Our ten crates of the Original Wright Company archives (along with the early Curtiss Co. and Martin Co. records) are now in public hands and on display at The Seattle Museum Of Flight. They contain hundreds of new revelation about the birth of the aviation industry.

First Day Covers
First Day Covers

A very affordable and enjoyable field of Wright Brothers collecting. There are hundreds of First day covers commemorating Wilbur and Orville. Now easy to find on the Internet, they can be easily stored in post-card albums and usually cost only a few dollars each. Many have beautiful and interesting graphics.

Post card collections
Post card collections

Original Wright themed post cards can range from a few dollars to several hundred dollars each. This is a very competitive collecting field. Postcards using actual photos are generally the most valuable. But many beautiful early cards with colorful lithographs are very affordable.

Wright Exhibition Decal
Wright Exhibition Decal

Souvenirs of The Wright Exhibition Team, which only lasted two years, are ewxtremely rare. This Original decal is from 1911. Amazingly, the Wrights were selling their aeroplanes for $5000 and able to tell prospective customers that their Exhibition Flyers could earn from $3,000 to $5000 for a single Exhibition.

Original Wright Photograph
Original Wright Photograph

This is a rare Photograph that the Wright Company used in their commercial advertisements in various 1915 aviation magazines. This photo has all the information about this Model HS aeroplane on the back, including the $6,000 price and shipping costs.

Signed Wright artifacts
Signed Wright artifacts

Wright Brothers signed checks are generally among the signed items with least risk of forgeries and fakes. Most sought after are checks written during their private years of aeroplane development. This 1905 check written and signed by Orville Wright on their Wright Cycle Company account in Dayton was for an enormous amount in those days. (probably close to four months average wages) We are still trying to research what this payment was for. All of the Wrights aeroplane research and development and construction costs came out of their own finances.

Wright Aviators
Wright Aviators

Photos documenting the early use of Wright aeroplanes and various aviators who flew them, are highly sought after. French aviatior M. Baratous has signed this photo of one o his 1909 flights in an early model Wright.

Wright Detail Photos
Wright Detail Photos

Photos that show small details of construction are very sought after by historians and collectors because no original drawings exist for these aeroplanes. Another photos signed by M. Baratous shows the location of wires and scale of controls and numerous other small details

Original Wright Publications
Original Wright Publications

This is a rare Original Wright Company Flying School Booklet. These were very well done with numerous clear photos of Wright aeroplanesand full detail of the ease of learning to fly them. The Wright Company headquarters was in New York City; the factory, in Dayton, Ohio.

Pioneer Aviation in Manhattan
Pioneer Aviation in Manhattan

The inside front page of the Wright Flying Scholl brochure, lists the Wright Flying Field Inc and offices at 60 Broadway. The Company office was in the heart of Manhattans financial district, central to the offices of the various powerful tycoons who made up the Board of Directors.

Original Company Brochures
Original Company Brochures

The more specific brochures are even more sought after than those with general information. This original four page illustrated brochure for the famous Wright 6 cylinder, 60 ho aero engine contained pages full of drawings, photos and stats with a record of accomplishments.

Rare Wright Aeroboat
Rare Wright Aeroboat

An extremely rare original Wright Company brochure for the only Flying Boat they ever produced. Orville Wright had hired Grover Loening to help him after Wilburs death and this was one of Loenings main contributions to the Company. Nick Engler of Dayton is contemplating the restoration of the only known Model G.

Early German Book Cover
Early German Book Cover

The Wrights had granted a license to build aeroplanes in Germany. This very early German book detailed the design of the Wright Model A. The illustrations were in layers of color drawings that could be lifted to expose other details drawings of the various sections and components.

German Wright Book layered illustration
German Wright Book layered illustration

The Wrights had granted a license to build aeroplanes in Germany. This very early German book detailed the design of the Wright Model A. The illustrations were in layers of color drawings that could be lifted to expose other details drawings of the various sections and components.

1912 Wright Document
1912 Wright Document

An extremely rare original letter sent out to announce the annual meeting of the Wright Company after Wilburs death in 1912. As the letterhead shows,Orville had replaced Wilbur as President, and (little known, today) Andrew Freedman had taken over Orvilles former position as Vice-President. The sender of this letter, Alpheus Barnes remained as Secretary Treasurer for the full life of the company. Many historians report that Orville had a strong dislike of Barnes and could hardly wait to get rid of him once he bought back full control of the Company from the other investors. But records show that Barnes was the very last person to leave the Company, other than Orville

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Contemporary Wright Biography
Contemporary Wright Biography

This rare 1909 publication of Die Bruder Wright by famed German aviation historian, A. Hildebrandt , was one of the earliest and most complete histories of the Wright Brothers early years. Well illustrated with 44 rare photos and drawings, the 64 page publication is among the most important contemporary Wright publications ever published.

Teddy Roosevelt
Teddy Roosevelt

This is a rare original early photograph (with age toning and decades of edge wear) of Teddy Roosevelt, who became the first U.S. President to fly, when he was taken up by famed Wright Company pilot Arch Hoxsey, at the St. Louis Air Meet on Oct 11, 1910. This photo and another similar one in our collection are different from any of the published photos Ive seen.

 

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