Lorin Wright's Life Story
While not a frequent participant in the research of his brothers Wilbur and Orville that produced the first successful airplane, Lorin assisted them when needed. He helped manage his brothers’ financial affairs in Dayton while they were away from home, and he delivered news of their first powered flight in December of 1903 to the Dayton Journal. Unfortunately, the Associated Press representative at the Journal ignored Lorin’s important news. In 1915, amidst the Wright-Curtiss patent battles, Lorin secretly visited Lake Keuka in New York, where Glenn Curtiss attempted to fly a modified 1903 model of Samuel Langley’s Aerodrome. Curtiss’s employees discovered Lorin and confiscated his film, but they failed to demonstrate that Langley’s craft was capable of flight before Orville and Wilbur’s flights of December 1903. Lorin turned his energies to the Dayton area in the 1920s and 1930s, becoming an owner and president of Miami Wood Specialties, which made wooden toys (including toy airplanes) and serving as a Dayton City Commissioner from 1920 to 1927. He died in Dayton in 1939 and is buried at Woodland Cemetery.
Did You Know?
The Dunbar House in Dayton, Ohio, was purchased by Paul for his mother in 1903. On July 23, 1936, the Dunbar House became the first state memorial to honor an African American.