Wright Brothers - Monday, January 4, 2016

Welcome to a new year, blog readers!  We know that some of you worry.  You say, we have devoted blog entry after blog entry to the wonderful pieces on display throughout the American Treasure Tour.  What will happen when you run out of subject matter?!  Fear not, we ask of you, for two reasons.  First, it is highly unlikely we ever will run out of new pieces to talk about because there's just so gosh-darned much cool stuff seen and unseen here at the ATT, and Second, if we do get through it all and have to recycle it, we will all be so old by the time we start doing that we won't remember it anyway.

Today, we are going to return to Omrod's Giant World of Miniatures, and talk about one of the models Bob assembled in honor of one of the most pivotal events in world history.  If you bothered to read the subject line of the blog (look up), you'll know we are talking about the first true flight of a self-propelled, heavier than air, aircraft carrying a human being, which happened on December 17th, 1903 in the sand dunes of Kittyhawk, North Carolina.  

It was a cold and windy morning.  Not too many people were around.  Ideal conditions for Orville and Wilbur Wright as they experimented with their Flyer.  The isolated Outer Banks of North Carolina were much different 113 years ago than they are now.  No resorts, no summer homes for the super wealthy.  Even Kittyhawk itself looked much different then than it does today.  There was no grass for one thing.  The sand dunes shifted fairly consistently, and there was little protection from the beating wind.  So, when Orville got off the ground in the Flyer with Wilbur running beside him, there were a few gawkers and, more importantly, a photographer at the ready.  

This image shows the Wright Flyer diorama in the Omrod Collection

This image shows the Wright Flyer diorama in the Omrod Collection

The Wrights knew just how important this day was, both for them personally and for the future of air travel.  There are many, many books published that do justice to this world-altering event.  Some popular histories include David McCullough's readable "The Wright Brothers" and Lawrence Goldstone's "Birdmen," the latter of which focuses more on the competition between the Wrights and other ambitious inventors to reach the skies first.  Of course, to admire a wonderful miniature diorama of this event, just make your reservation to visit the American Treasure Tour and ask to check out the Omrod Collection!
QUESTION:  What resident of the Wright's hometown of Dayton, Ohio developed a very early motorized wheelchair?
A)  Paul Dunbar
B)  Erma Bombeck
C)  Levitt Custer
D)  Allison Janney
ANSWER BELOW

DO THEY STILL NEED WOMEN?  On this day in 2004, Spirit made landfall.  No, Spirit is not a horse in this instance, but a Mars rover created by NASA to explore the Red Planet.  For six years it traveled around, taking photographs and analyzing the surface of the planet, until it got stuck in soft soil in 2009, sending images back until contact was lost the next year.  Beautiful images combined with important data made the mission a success.  Rest In Peace,  Spirit.

QUOTE:  It is possible to fly without motors, but not without knowledge and skill. - Wilbur Wright.

ANSWER:  C)  Levitt Custer, although it should be noted that all these people, highly accomplished in their specific fields, all come from Dayton.