WILBUR WRIGHT'S TYPED DRAFT OF AN ESSAY.
Typed Manuscript Signed ("Wilbur Wright") at foot of the final page, 10 pp, 11 x 8½ inches, [Dayton, 1912], being an emended early draft of Wilbur's essay entitled "Clement AderWhat He Did," with additions and corrections by Orville Wright in ink and pencil notations by an unidentified editor from the Aero Club of America Bulletin, soiled.
Provenance: the Otto Kallir Collection of Aviation History, Sotheby's New York, June 14, 1993, lot 103.
ONE OF THE FINAL ESSAYS BY WILBUR WRIGHT BEFORE HIS SUDDEN DEATH ON MAY 30, 1912, WITH NOTES BY ORVILLE.
Wright's essay concerns the French engineer, Clement Ader, and pertains to the brothers' priority in their invention of a flying machine. In his words, "after the possibility of human flight had been demonstrated by the Wright brothers, claims began to be made that the Ader machine before being wrecked had flown nearly one thousand feet in 1897. After a time a systematic attempt was begun to establish by constant repetition a legend which might eventually displace the truth. But the friends of M. Santos Dumont, who claimed the honor of being the first man to fly within the borders of France, became aroused and a heated controversy arose. At length M. Archdeacon succeeded in obtaining permission of the French Ministry of War to publish the official report of the Commission which supervised the trials of the Ader machine in 1897...." The official report, which Wright quotes in its entirety here, unambiguously states that the Ader machine never took flight.
The essay was published under the title "What Clement Ader Did" in the Aero Club of America Bulletin, volume 1 no 3, New York, May 1912, pp. 17-19. A copy of the Bulletin is included in the lot.
According to the Chief Archivist of Wright State University at Dayton, only seven Wilbur Wright articles were published. Five of the typescripts are at WSU or the Library of Congress; two, including the present example, were part of the Otto Kallir collection; the remaining Kallir typescript is believed to have been sold privately circa 2003.