What we have here, is an item at the Swann Galleries auction site offering what it calls the most unlikely scoop in journalistic aviation history.
What we have here is: Gleanings in Bee Culture, which, as far as anyone can determine, features the first eyewitness report of the Wright brothers in flight.
Featured within 14 unbound issues of Gleanings in Bee Culture, is the description of a flight taken by the Wright Brothers on September 24, 1904.
The Wright Brothers first flew an airplane at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, U.S. on December 14, 1903… but it was not a flight so much as a – holy smokes the engine died during take-off and I’m crashing after three seconds in the air – with Wilbur as the pilot.
On December 17, after fixing the Wright Flyer, and Orville now at the helm, the Wright Flyer flew and became the first heavier-than-air craft to make a sustained flight. Wilbur, then Orville, and Wilbur again flew that day, until Wilbur’s super long flight ended in a crash.
While no reporters were there that day, a telegraph operator spread word of the flight(s) to a Virginia newspaper. Unfortunately, the details were a third-hand account and suffered from inaccuracies. Still… it did receive some global press.
In May of 1904, reporters were present for the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, but the Wright Flyer failed to perform as advertised.
But, on September 20, 1904, the boys were able to complete their first-ever circular flight—and this time there was a witness, one Amos Ives Root of Ohio, who was actually invited by the Wright’s to buzz around.
Amos Ives Root (1839–1923) was an Ohio entrepreneur who developed innovative techniques for beekeeping during the latter 19th century (how to harvest honey without destroying the hive).
This was around the 1860s, and Root’s technique helped him beecome (sp) (sorry) an internationally-renowned expert in apiary. At this point in time in American economics, beekeeping was a big part of local economies. A company formed by Root exists today as Root Candles.
Anyhow, Root back in 1904 was asked to write an article on the Wright Brother’s flight for Scientific American… but they rejected it.
So Root decided to write about it in a column he had called Our Homes in HIS company’s Gleanings In Bee Culture magazine.
You can see a page of it below:
Expected auction price is between US1,500-$2,000.