Sunday, November 05, 2006
To Conquer the Air by James Tobin
About the race to fly. Everyone knows the Wright Brothers won, but the story is fantastic. The brothers took a very meticulous approach and were competing against contemporary luminaries like the secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (who spent >$70k on his attempts vs. the Wright Brothers’ expenses of <$1k), and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as a bunch of French competitors. Even after the Wright Bros’ successful flights at Kitty Hawk, it was years before they got the recognition they deserved. Really great story.