The Wright Brothers Politely Defer to One Another by Alex Berg

Kitty HawkThe Wright Brothers, like Alex Berg, had their ideas and inventions nurtured by their time spent in the glorious state of Ohio(see below for ongoing debate about the birthplace of aviation).

Orville: Really, Wilbur, stop this silly bickering and get in the aeroplane. You’re the older one here- it makes sense that you should have the esteemed privilege of being the first one to fly this aeroplane that we’ve constructed.

Wilbur: It is an esteemed privilege, Orville, and what sort of older brother would I be if

Wilbur Wright


I took it away from you? When we were growing up, mother and father always said to look after you and keep your best interests in mind. I can think of no better way to honor their wishes than to allow you to be the one to usher in this new age of aviation.

Orville: I’m flattered, brother, truly I am- but I can imagine no crime greater than taking this honor away from you. What have I ever done to deserve the distinction of being the first man to pilot this rickety glider?

Wilbur: Your hard work and determination are the glue that hold this ramshackle plane together, Orville. In many ways, this tumbledown flying contraption is yours alone, as should be the pleasure of being the first person to take it airborne.

Orville Wright


Orville: Wilbur, you are too modest. It is true that I helped a great deal in the construction of this run-down aircraft, but without your blueprints and your logical-sounding yet insofar untested and therefore unreliable concepts about aeronautics, I would still be repairing bicycles back in Dayton. You first. I insist.

Wilbur: No. My modesty fails me now, brother, in the light of your argument. I am crucial to the fledgling field of aeronautics, and any injury I sustained would be not only an injury to myself, but also an injury to the 20th century. Inasmuch as I am too important to risk my life in this unsound aerial apparatus, you should be the first.

Orville: Point noted, but if your body were injured when this dubious device of ours crashed, your mind and your ideas would still be intact. Aeronautical engineering would experience hardly any delay in it’s development. On the other hand, if I were to be involved in some sort of crash, and these hands were to become useless, who would rebuild the plane?

Wilbur: Brother, be not too haughty- I would mend the craft.

Orville: Would you, brother? These hands…

Wilbur: Were taught everything they know by this mind. A mind, which I might add, is not going to risk itself by being the first to climb into winged craft made of wood and paper which contains a combustion engine. Get in.

Orville: Hrm… Wouldn’t mother be sad if I were injured?

Notice slogan 'Birthplace of Aviation'

Notice slogan ‘Birthplace of Aviation’

Wilbur: Maybe, but not as sad as she’d be if I were injured. Now hurry up and get in before the wind dies down. I don’t trust this thing to stay in the air without a strong wind.

Orville: What was that last part?

Wilbur: Nothing. Have a safe flight, and try to steer for a dune if you begin to fall.

For years there has been an ongoing debate about which state has the most claim to the Wright Brothers. Recently Connecticut has stepped in to the fray by claiming that Gustave Whitehead was the first person to fly an airplane. Two good articles here: NC, Ohio Fight to Retain First in Flight Bragging Rights and NC, Ohio Fighting Back on Conn.’First in Flight’ Claim.

Nice try, North Carolina!

Nice try, North Carolina!

Mirth in a Box sells fun and unusual gift boxes and college care packages. We’d love to send some to Ohio! FYI, April 16th is Wilbur Wright’s birthday!

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