10 March 2010

Weird Wednesday: The Wright Sister

Did you know the Wright Brothers had a sister? Well, they did - and she apparently played a vital role in their success. She's even been called "the third Wright Brother."

I know! Weird, isn't it? We've all heard of Orville and Wilber - but how many people know about Katherine Wright? My fellow NPR listeners probably know this already, but in case you missed that broadcast, here's some more info:

There's a fair amount of controversy over how influential and involved she was in the airplane business. Some commentators say she was the real brains behind the whole operation, others say she was basically their housekeeper - I'm inclined to guess it was something in between. Apparently Orville & Wilber were introverted (engineers? introverted? No!), and she helped do a lot of the publicity & interpersonal

I did confirm that she received the legion d'honneur from France - one of very few women to ever receive this recognition.

Anyway, I thought that was an interesting tidbit from the history of aviation. Just goes to show that the history books don't always capture the whole story (No! Really?)

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