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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Manny Gorin Wright Brothers Collection

Identifier: 2006-11-21-and-2007-05-30-B
This small collection consists of three photographic prints, three photographic postcards, and one illustrative postcard collected by Manny Gorin relating to the Wright Brothers and their expositions in France, dating from 1908 through the 1910s. Among those pictured are: Charles Count de Lambert and Gabriele D'Annunzio seated in a Wright Type A Military (Signal Corps No.1); Ethel Roosevelt Derby at the controls of a Wright Type A Military (Signal Corps No.1) aircraft; Charles Count de Lambert and Kermit Roosevelt seated in a Wright Type A Military (Signal Corps No.1) aircraft; Paul Tissandier piloting a Wright Type A Military (Signal Corps No.1) aircraft; and Wilbur Wright standing with Charles Count de Lambert. One illustrative postcard depicts a Wright Flyer with decorative roses and a New Year's greeting. The items are listed in the inventory in chronological order.


  • circa 1908-1910s


Language of Materials

All materials are in French.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research but the materials are very fragile and may not be handled by researchers without permission of the Supervisory Archivist. Digital surrogates are available. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.02 Cubic Feet (Two folders)


The Manny Gorin Wright Brothers Collection consists of photographic prints and postcards relating to the Wright Brothers and their expositions in France, circa 1908-1910s.

Biographical Note: The Wright Brothers

Orville Wright (August 19, 1871 – January 30, 1948) and his brother Wilbur (April 16, 1867 – May 30, 1912) are credited with being the first to successfully invent, build and fly an airplane. Their first successful flight in a powered, heavier-than-air aircraft took place on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Orville and Wilbur were two of seven children born to Milton Wright (1828–1917), a bishop, and Susan Catherine Koerner (1831–1889). They attended high school though neither received a diploma. In 1889 they started a printing press and published a newspaper. Later they cashed in on the bicylce craze and opened a repair and sales shop. Increasingly interested in flight, they began experimentation by 1899. The experimented first with gliders before attempting powered flight. Aviation pioneer Octave Chanute had suggested to them to do their test flights along the mid-Atlantic coast for its breezes and soft sandy landing surfaces, so they decided on Kitty Hawk, North Carolina which also gave them privacy from reporters.

After many experiments with gliders, the brothers built their first powered aircraft, the Wright Flyer, in 1903. After having a custom designed propeller made, they began flight attmpts on December 14, 1903. After repairs and modifications to their Flyer, they made their successful flight attempts on December 17, 1903, with two flights each from level ground into a freezing headwind. Orville's first flight was at 10:35 am, flew 120 feet in 12 seconds at a speed of only 6.8 miles per hour at an altitude of about 10 feet above ground.

In 1904 they set up an airfield at Huffman Prairie, near Dayton to continue to experiment closer to home. They continued to modify their Flyers and make flying attempts, but their accomplishments were met with skepticism by the press. They spent 1906 and 1907 unsuccessfully tyring to get contracts from the U.S. and European governments. More demonstration flights, both in the U.S. and Europe, brought them more attention, business success and fame.

In 1906 they had been awarded patent number 821393 for "new and useful Improvements in Flying Machines". However they had continuing legal battles with other aviators, namely Glenn Curtiss, who refused to pay licensing fees. They incorporated their Wright Company on November 22, 1909. They hired exhibition pilots in 1910 to drum up business for aircraft sales. That year their company also made the first commercial cargo flight by flying fabric Dayton to Columbus, Ohio, for the Morehouse-Martens Department Store. The Wright Brothers Flying School at Huffman Prairie trained over 100 pilots.

Wilbur died of typhoid fever in 1912. Orville continued to run their business, with assistance from their sister Katharine, until 1915 when he sold it. He made his last flight as a pilot in 1918, serving on boards and committees in his retirement. Orville died in 1948.

Custodial History

This collection was purchased from Manny Gorin. Previous custodial history is unknown.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Related Materials at the Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight Archives also holds: a set of glass plate negatives of the Wright brothers, also acquired from Manny Gorin (accession #2004-09-07); the Curtiss-Wright Company Records (accession #2002-01-15); the William Preston Mayfield Wright Brothers Photograph Album (accession #2018-10-01C); Marianne Miller Hudec Wright Brothers Memorabilia Collection (accession #2005-11-13); and The Orville Wright Letter (accession 2018-10-01-D).
Related Materials at Other Institutions Other institutions with related collections include the Library of Congress, The National Air and Space Museum, The Henry Ford, and Wright State University.

Separated Materials

The following items have been separated from the archival component of this collection and are kept in Objects storage:

  • Tray, Commemorative -- Souvenir, Wright Brothers, France, 1909
  • Plaque -- Brass Award Plate, 1909-1910
  • Armband -- Wright Brothers, LeMans, 1908
  • Glass, Commemorative -- Wilbur Wright Souvenir Glass


Guide to the Manny Gorin Wright Brothers Collection
Completed - Level 3
N. Davis
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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