Bishop Milton Wright and Susan Catharine Wright had four sons, Reuchlin, Lorin, Wilbur, and Orville, and one daughter Katharine. Little did Susan Wright know that she had given birth to one of the world’s most famous inventive partnerships. Wilbur was born on April 16, 1867, near Millville, Indiana. Orville was born 4 years later on August 19, 1871, in the families newly built home at 7 Hawthorn Street in Dayton, Ohio. A minister in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, Milton Wright moved his family to Dayton so he could edit the church newspaper published there. The Wrights stayed in Dayton until 1878, when Milton was elected bishop and moved the family to Iowa. In 1885, they returned to the house at 7 Hawthorn Street.
As the boys grew older, their parents encouraged them to pursue intellectual interests. They had two libraries in their house; books on theology were kept in the bishop’s study, while the downstairs library had a large and diverse collection. This kept them always reading and learning while they were not at school. Although their dad was a firm disciplinarian, both parents were loving and kept the family a close one. Every once and awhile, Milton would bring them various souvenirs and trinkets he found during his travels for the church.
One such trinket, a toy helicopter-like top, sparked the boys’ interest in flying. Wilbur;s skating accident and his mother’s illness and subsequent death kept him from attending college. Orville was on the other hand, was an average student, known for his mischievous behavior. He quit school before his senior year to start a printing business with his brother. Thefirst time Wilbur and Orville referred to themselves, as “The Wright Brothers” was when they started their own printing firm at the ages of 22 and 18. Using a damaged tombstone and buggy parts, they built a press and printed their own newspaper. In 1892, the brothers bought bicycles.
They began repairi…