Freudenthal, 1949, Flight into history

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Elsbeth E. Freudenthal. Flight into History: the Wright Brothers and the Air Age. University of Oklahoma Press, 1949.

Scan at HathiTrust.

The Wrights weren't the first to get off the ground; but "they were the first to demonstrate to demonstrate controlled mechanical flight"; but:

Much more important was their role of midwives to the business of flying. It was the Wright brothers who, as businessmen, insisted on making the science and theory of aeronautics into a paying business.

One reviewer thought Freudenthal was unfair to the Wrights and drew too heavily from the work of their longtime opponent Albert Francis Zahm.[1]

And there are complex mis-interpretations of the position of the Wright Brothers in respect to Octave Chanute, from whose letters she draws considerable material. She takes the view that the Wrights owed much of their success to Chanute. Actually a study of Chanute's work shows that the old bridge builder made better bridges than he did gliders, and that his contribution to the Wrights was almost wholly inspirational.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Alexander McSurely, Flying, October 1949, p. 48.
Original title Flight into History: the Wright Brothers and the air age
Simple title Flight into History
Authors Elsbeth E. Freudenthal
Date 1949
Countries US
Languages en
Keywords airplane, Wright Brothers, finance
Related to aircraft? 1
Page count 268
Word count