Here’s a very cool poster featuring the Wright Brothers and their celebrated return home from Europe back to their hometown of Dayton, Ohio… in a two-day event to be celebrated on June 17-19, 1909.
When the Wrights returned to America in May 1909 after visiting Europe to drum up sales of their planes and to demonstrate that they did indeed have the Wright stuff, they were greeted back home with the same attention and adulation that had followed them across Europe.
While the Wright Brothers really did hate all of the publicity and considered all the public appearances, awards, and celebrations a distraction, they preferred to be left alone so that they could get back to work on perfecting their flying machines.
But, in 1909… it didn’t matter what they wanted. As heroes who had conquered the air, their home and native land wanted to honor their new favorite sons.
The grandest welcome for the brothers was the Wright Brothers’ Home Days Celebration in Dayton, Ohio, on June 17–18, 1909 – which is where the poster above comes in.
There were receptions, parades, concerts, and fireworks. Wilbur and Orville accepted medals from the U.S. Congress, the State of Ohio and the city of Dayton. Scores of elementary school children clad in red, white, and blue made up a “living flag” chorus that closed the ceremony with a song.
Wow… a poster welcoming home the conquering heroes…
Of course, it wasn’t but a couple of months later that they were back in Germany demonstrating their Model A aircraft…
Now… is it just me, but doesn’t anyone else thing it strange that the Wright Brother’s planes did NOT use any tires in their design? Not one.
I understand that the Wright’s used a slingshot propulsion system to help get the machines off the ground in the early days… but why no wheels?
It’s not like wheels hadn’t been invented yet – even in Dayton, Ohio – back in 1903-1909.
As hopefully must astute readers will know, the Wright Brothers were not only bicycle enthusiasts before building their aeroplanes, but sold and repaired bicycles in their own shop in Dayton beginning in 1892.
So – why no wheels on a Wright-designed aircraft?!
It should be noted that it wasn’t until 1911 that the bicycle builders actually utilized wheels and their skids so that their plane – the Wright Model B – could take off and land on a level field. At that time, if YOU wanted to buy a plane from the Wright Brothers, they would give you flight lessons… and all it would cost you in total was $5,000.
The Wright Flyer – the very first heavier than air craft to fly (Show me proof that someone else actually beat them to the punch) utilized skids, and a kind of sling shot aided by their aluminum motor to get the plane up to speed and into the air.
After that, Wright Brother planes still used skids rather than wheels, but the power of the engine was by then sufficient to give it enough power and speed to get it airborne.
I still think it is strange that they never added wheels to the mix until 1911, given their background.
Oh well… it’s still a pretty cool-looking aviation poster of a historic event in American history.