In the Lives of the Determined
For centuries, thousands of men sought after the dream of flight and never attained it. Figuring out how to fly, without killing yourself in the process, was an enormous task. Many intelligent men died in the process. However, after several years of reading and preparation, two men accomplished their dream. This is their story.
Wilbur and Orville Wright, from a small city called Dayton, Ohio, invented the first airplane. The sure genius of the task was insurmountable to many people. Even more amazing, however, was the fact that the brothers who never attended college, had no rigorous education in science or engineering, and that dropped out of high school without even receiving a diploma, learned more by teaching themselves. They never drank and never smoked. “They shared everything from a joint bank account to their experiments with flying machines….they were as inseparable as twins” (Freedman 3).
Although they were four years apart, they ended up becoming very close friends. One of their mutual interests was buying machines, just to take them apart, see how they worked, and put them back together again. They were always very “good with their hands…and bubbling over with ideas” (Freedman 3). One of their ideas was to open up a newspaper in Dayton. It was called the “West Side News” and published local stories. For about a year, the newspaper company made good money, but then bigger newspapers came to Dayton and ran the brothers out of business. But, the younger of the two brothers, Orville, had a new idea.
A new invention, called the bicycle, had just been invented and was an enormous hit. Wilbur and Orville went right out and bought bikes. They also needed a new job, so they both decided to open a bicycle shop together. They called the store the “Wright Cycle Company”. The company began really small. The brothers rented bikes, sold bikes, and re...