|The Oberlin Review, Sept 30, 1896- news of Katharine Wright returning home to nurse Orville Wright through typhoid fever. Author's copy.|
|American Review of Reviews, October 1908, Orville Wright's flights at Fort Myer, Va. Author's copy.|
Orville and Katharine traveled by passenger liner from New York to Europe, to join Wilbur at Pau in southern France. As told in The Wright Sister, by Richard Maurer, "Orv and Katharine arrived in Pau on January 16 (1909), delayed by several hours because their passenger train collided with a freight train. Two people died in the crash and many were injured, but Orv and Katharine escaped unscathed. After the wreck, Katharine observed that French officials seemed helpless in the face of the emergency, unable to take action until they were given orders......Not only would she survive a train wreck in France, she would later barely avoid injury in Italy when a too zealous car chauffeur steered her into a stone wall."
See my post "The 1913 Dayton Flood and the Wright Family"
Orville's eighth brush with death- Automobile Crash
As told in Wright Reminiscences, Compiled by Ivonette Wright Miller, "In 1933 Uncle Orv drove to Penetang, Canada by way of Buffalo and Toronto. He spent most of his summer vacation at Lambert Island on Georgian Bay. When he returned at the end of the summer, he ran off the road somewhere between Penetang and Toronto, and went into a ditch and turned over. He was not hurt, but the acid from the battery leaked through and ate holes in his clothing..."
Orville's ninth and final brush with death- First heart attack
Per Rosamond Young in Twelve Seconds to the Moon, A Story of the Wright Brothers, "Orville was two minutes late for an appointment with Edward Deeds at NCR on the morning of October 10, 1947. He ran up the steps of the headquarters building and fell. At Miami Valley Hospital his physician said he had had a slight heart attack. He returned home after four days in the hospital. In a letter to Frank P. Lahm he said on November 12, 'if they had not taken my clothes away from me, probably I would have been out of the hospital a day or two sooner. I am now almost back to normal health and am driving a car and have been coming to the office every day for several weeks...'
Having used his nine lives, Orville did not survive his second heart attack of January, 1948.
|Dayton Journal, January 31, 1948, Orville Wright Dies In Sleep. Author's copy.|
|NCR Factory News, February-March 1948 issue, NCR Loses A Close Friend- Orville Wright. Author's copy.|
From The Wright Brothers Fathers of Flight, by John R. McMahon, "Under the convulsive kicking of eager feet, the lathe sped into action with a deafening noise. It shivered and shook while the marble ball bearings raced between wood shaft and horse-bridle iron rings with a rattling roar. The din was heightened by the happy clamor of the operators, to an extent which made them oblivious of a rival performance by nature outdoors. In fact, a cyclone was just then overhead! It tore a skylight off the barn and unroofed a church two blocks distant. The boys kept pumping at the lathe treadle. If they heard an extra sound, they credited themselves with it. At last Orville saw the barn tip a trifle. And glancing outdoors, he beheld his sister oddly flattened and even pasted by wind pressure against the kitchen door of the house...."
If Orville had not had nine lives, history would have been much different. Check out my alternate time line post "What if the Wright Brothers had not experimented in flight in the early 1900's?" to find out what would have happened if Orville had not survived Typhoid fever in 1896.
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