Recently, I was thinking of all the time that we spend flying from place to place. A lot of us spend much of our time in midair, and we hardly stop to think about it.


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From Newspapers to Bicycles to Airplanes

The Wright Brothers learned a lot during their years of working and inventing together.


Wilbur was four years older than his brother, Orville. Neither of the boys went to college. Wilbur was all set to attend Yale when he was badly injured in an ice hockey game. He healed slowly, and then stayed home when his mother fell ill.


She died of tuberculosis in 1889, which was the same year Wilbur and Orville started their own newspaper. Orville acted as publisher, while Wilbur was the editor. But, these boys were avid fans of the newest invention: bicycles. The mechanics fascinated them both, and within three years they opened their own bike shop.


Their fascination for mechanics didn’t stop there. They were pretty enterprising guys, and they decided that flight was the next frontier. Inspired by Otto Lilienthal, a German aviator who had died recently in a glider crash, the Wright brothers set out to design their own plane and made their way to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.


They literally went where the wind was.


This is where their designs met with public opinion, and they received their first taste of fame... and notoriety. Not everyone was a fan of the airplane, but the area was a perfect testing ground for their designs.

The Wright Brothers Did a Few Things Right

I am inspired by their willingness to take risks, their ability to follow their passions, and their thirst for knowledge.


We are never too old to learn new things. When we chase our passions and take risks, whole new worlds of opportunity open up for each of us.


Wilbur Wright died of typhoid fever on May 30, 1912. His father, Milton, wrote in his diary after his son’s death, “A short life, full of consequences. An unfailing intellect, imperturbable temper, great self-reliance, and as great modesty.”


Their legacy still has the power to transport us!


~Tony Johnson