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Sunday, October 23, 2016

1127 West Third Street- The Wright Cycle Company

(Updated 2/27/19) The Wright Brothers Cycle Shop formally located at 1127 West Third Street in Dayton Ohio is currently preserved at the Henry Ford Museum Greenfield Village in Dearborn Michigan, purchased by Henry Ford in 1936, relocated there in 1937, and opened to the public in 1938 with the blessing of Orville Wright. The brothers relocated their business numerous times through the 1890's, and 1127 West Third was their last location. The reason this location was of major significance is of course that this is where their aviation experiments took place; where they performed their wind tunnel experiments, where Charlie Taylor constructed the engine, where the gliders and flyers were constructed.
Prior to 1896, this structure was a residence. The owner, Charles W. Webbert, remodeled the home during the winter of 1896/97, constructing the addition to the front for conversion of the residential structure to a commercial building. When the remodeling was completed, the Wright Brothers moved their Cycle business Wright Cycle Company, and their printing business Wright & Wright from 22 South Williams to the west half of this building (1127). The original pitched roof of the residence is visible on the west side as seen in the photo below the Sanborn maps. The vertical brick line bisecting the west (left) face of the building provides reference of the extent of the addition to the front of the original home.The east side, 1125, was occupied by the office of Fetters & Shank, undertakers and embalmers.

1125 West Third Street is shown here in this view from the 1887 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, courtesy of Library of Congress Archives.  Note the changes over the next 10 years in building footprints, compared to 1897 Sanborn map below. Many of the changes appear to be due to more concise measurements of existing structures.

1127 West Third Street is shown here in this view from the 1897 Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, courtesy of the Library of Congress Archives. The additions can be seen at 1125/1127, and now identified as providing Bicycle Repairing and Hand Printing. Frank Hales residence can be seen just to the west at 1129.

1127/1125 West Third Street, around 1910, courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection. The original pitched roof of the residence dating to before 1896 is visible at the west (left) side of the building.

1127 West Third Street, around 1910, rear of building, courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection..

View from rear, similar to 1910 photo above. Taken by Author at Greenfield Village, 2011.

Workshop located north (behind) of 1127 West Third. Postcard from Author's collection.

The 1897 Dayton Directory listing reads "Wright Cycle Co. (Wilbur Wright & Orville Wright) bicycles, 1127 W. 3d. It also lists "Wright & Wright, (Wilbur & Orville) printers, 1127 W. 3d. The 1900 Dayton Directory lists only the Wright Cycle Co, as the brothers discontinued the printing business.(1) In Wright & Wright Printers, Charlotte and August Brunsman note that "In 1897 they moved both the bicycle and printing businesses to 1127 West Third Street....The printing office was in the southeast corner of the second floor with the printing shop in the room behind that." Edwin Sines was their printing agent, and "When Sines' injury to a lame knee in 1899 caused him to seek other employment, the printing business and equipment were sold to Thomas R. and Marion J. Stevens who operated "Stevens & Stevens," a printing company, at 1225 West Fifth Street. (2)

Stevens and Stevens, Frank B. Hale, West Third Street ads
From Author's copy of Steele High School magazine, December 1906 Steele Review- Stevens and Stevens at this date is shown located at 1029 West Third. Frank B. Hale Fine Groceries was located at the Hoover Block, 3rd and Williams, at the first floor level. Frank Hale lived at 1129, immediately to the west of the Wright Cycle Company. Wright &Wright Job Printers had been located at the 2nd floor of the Hoover Block from 1890-1895.

From Wright Reminiscences, compiled by Ivonette Wright Miller, Milton Wright (Ivonette's brother, Lorin Wright's son) said, "In the years before 1903, I spent whatever time I was allowed playing about my uncle's bicycle shop. The odor of the glue pot, the spruce shavings on the floor, and the many gadgets whose use I did not understand, were all a great attraction to a small boy. The matter of fact way in which my uncles used the gadgets and planed the spruce strips and glued them together into ribs for their "flying machine" left me with the impression that all bicycle shops did the same thing. It was all very commonplace."
Ivonette recalled "When we were growing up we lived about a city block from the bicycle shop. When my mother had an errand taking her downtown, and had one child she couldn't take with her, we were dropped off at the bicycle shop, and either Orville or Wilbur, or both, baby-sat with us. They were never too busy to entertain us, though there was much activity in the shop- motors being tested on the block, and wheels and belts running."

From March 1911 Aeronautics issue, author's copy, The Wright Company, 1127 West Third Street.
1127 West Third Street business in 1915
From ad page 31 in the February 1915 issue of Steele Magnet, a student published magazine from Steele High School. Leontine Wright, class of 1916, was listed as assistant Local Editress (Leontine's father was Lorin Wright). Note A. H. Pearson Delicatessen located at 1127 W. Third Street. From author's library collection.

John Upshaw Tailor once located at 1127 West Third Street Dayton Ohio
From 1915 Steele H.S. yearbook, John Upshaw Tailor located at 303 West Third. John relocated to 1127 West Third in 1918. From author's library collection.

The small narrow single story building to the east was replaced with a building addition to 1127/1125, and in 1913, Fred W Ritter Florist occupied the new section, address 1123 1/2. He remained in this space through 1921. The center 1125 section was occupied by West Side Electric Shoe Repair Company from 1915 through 1921. Albert H Pearson, Delicatessen occupied 1127, as did the office of Orville Wright at the second floor level in 1915. 1915 was the last year Orville leased space here; he moved to his newly constructed Lab at 15 North Broadway in 1916. Albert Pearson remained through 1917, and John Upshaw, Tailor occupied 1127 in 1918, 1919, and possibly 1920.(3)
Wright Cycle Company
1127/1125 West Third Street, around 1920, courtesy of Dayton Mont Co Library. 1129 residence to west is partially visible. An addition has been constructed to the east end of this building, the location of a florist in this photo. The C. W. Webbert sign at roof level has been removed. Note the windows that have been added to the west face of the building.

The residence 1129 to the west, the east edge visible in photo above, was occupied by Z. T. Hoover and Mary Hoover, and their son-in-law Frank Hale and daughter Lura Hale. By the 1920 census, Frank is listed as head of household, as Z. T. had passed away. Frank B. Hale Fine Groceries (see ad earlier in this post) was located across the street to the east, corner of Williams and Third.

1923 Press photo of 1127 West Third building, decorated for the 20th anniversary of first flight at Kitty Hawk.(13)

Frank Hale and Lorin Wright served as two of the five members of the City Commission. Frank held title of mayor and served from 1922 through 1925, while Lorin Wright served on the City Commission from 1920 through 1927. Frank and Lura remained at 1129 West Third through 1926, and then moved to Auburndale Florida by 1927. The home remained vacant in 1927 until it was demolished and replaced with a two-story commercial building, which still stands today with current day address of 1135, but in 1928, the address was 1129. The 1928 Dayton Directory lists this building as occupied by Charles O. Johnson, real estate agent, and Stanley's Furniture Store.(4) By 1936, 1129 was occupied by The American Wall Paper & Paint Corporation, and Deuser's Inc Dry Cleaners. The building's apartments were occupied by Henry S Marshall and Ralph W Reynolds (at 1129 1/2). The photo below likely shows Orville Wright in 1927 as he observes the empty lot of 1129, as he faces the west side of 1127, the former Wright Cycle Company location. This would be the brief time period between the demolition of the Frank Hale residence and construction of the commercial building.
West side of Wright Cycle Company indicated as around 1930, courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.. The more likely date is 1927, after demolition of Frank Hales home, and before construction of the Commercial Building. This brief time period provides the only possible time frame of a full view photo of the west side of 1127 as it stood in Dayton. The man pictured observing in forefront is believed to be Orville Wright.

On the 25th anniversary of the Wright Brothers flight at Kitty Hawk, the Dayton Chamber of Commerce issued "The Shop That Became A Shrine". This eight page pamphlet tells the story of the Wright's inventive process, and of the shop on West Third Street. Dayton recognized the prior significance of this building in 1928, but the message of the pamphlet is confusing, in that on the one hand, the shop is labeled a shrine, but on the other hand, it is viewed as already gone from history. The author wrote, "From all accounts of the conversion of this shop on West Third Street in Dayton, Ohio, into an international shrine the two repairman who worked therein possessed some definite ideas of what they hoped to achieve long before that epochal flight along the wind-swept dunes of Kitty Hawk.....Even in this modern age flights with heavier-than-air machines were attempted. Without exception they failed until Orville and Wilbur Wright in the secret places of their bicycle repair shop in Dayton, Ohio, designed and finally emerged with a type of flying machine that, jeered at first, nevertheless furnished the basis for modern aeronautics.....We in Dayton know a little bit more about this invention of the airplane than most people, because it was born among us. Long years ago the little shop has passed into the scrap heap, but the product of its crude laboratory has filled the skies the world over.....It is a far cry back to that little crudely built bicycle shop in West Third Street, Dayton. Time has obliterated all marks of it. New structures have taken its place; and yet it has become hallowed in the history of the world. It is a Shrine today, made so by the acclaim of millions who upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first successful flight made by man in a heavier-than-air flying machine, pay tribute to Orville and Wilbur Wright, inventors and pilots of that craft which pointed the way to all that we have in the world of aviation at this moment."
From this pamphlet, the people of Dayton in 1928 were told that the little shop had passed into the scrap heap, time had obliterated all marks of it, and new structures had taken its place. Yet, there the Gem of Dayton remained at 1125/27 West Third Street, waiting for a man from Detroit to rescue it from a sleeping City.

Wright Cycle Company
The Dayton Chamber of Commerce, "The Shop That Became A Shrine", December 17th, 1928, from author's collection.

In 1928, Time had not obliterated all marks of the West Third Wright Cycle Company. The Gem of Dayton would be preserved by Henry Ford within the decade.

By 1936, the building was occupied by Harry Rubin, shoe repairer, in 1125; by Bela Darabos in 1125 1/2 (second floor apartment); William L Winbourne, barber, in 1127; Dayton Daily News branch supply station, also in 1127; and by Amelia Glatthaar in 1127 1/2 (second floor apartment). The 1123 1/2 space was vacant.(5)

1127/1125 West Third Street, 1936, courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection. . Residence to west has been replaced with commercial building which still stands today. Building to the east no longer stands. In 1936, the building was occupied "by Harry Rubin, a shoe repairer; Louis Winbourne (William L. Winbourne), barber, and Bunny and Jess garage. The second floor has a number of apartments."(6)

The Henry Ford Wright Brother Archives
Interior of former Wright Cycle Company storeroom at 1127 West Third looking out toward Third Street, 1936. From exterior picture above, "Barber Shop" can be seen at the window just right of the Garage sign for reference. Courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

Wright State University Archives
Orville Wright and Henry Ford standing within 1127 West Third, looking out to West Third Street, October 27, 1936, courtesy of  Special Collections and Archives, Wright State University. The two are standing in front of the right most pane of glass in the picture above this one (under the Garage sign).

1127 West Third Street, Dayton, Ohio
Panoramic view of interior of 1123 1/2 / 1125 / 1127 West Third, 1936. These three areas were separated by walls, but if walls were removed, this would be the view. Area to left was not original to the structure when the Wrights occupied the building. In 1903, the center area was occupied by Fetters & Shank, and the right side by Wright Cycle Company. Click on the image to enlarge. Images courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

The Henry Ford Wright Brother Archives
1125/1127 West Third Street, 1936, rear of building, courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection. The rear details have changed significantly from the time the Wright's occupied the building in the earlier years of 1897 through 1903.(7)

1125/1127 West Third Street, 1936, west side view of rear of building from roof of adjacent building, courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.
On July 3, 1936, Henry Ford purchased the 1125/1127 building. "Ford plans to move the building to his historic Greenfield Village at Dearborn, Mich. There it is to be restored to its original state and preserved to posterity as it was at the time the Wright brothers first occupied it in 1896 (actually 1897). The purchase concluded a long period of negotiations started by William E. Scripps, president of the Early Birds, an association of airmen who were among the first students of aviation...It was through the efforts of Scripps and Edsel Ford that Orville Wright and Henry Ford were brought together in Dearborn last Saturday to discuss removal of the building....The purchase was made by a member of the Ford law staff from Mr. and Mrs. Charles Webbert, who have owned the building since it was built in about 1875.....A barber shop now occupies the ground floor where the Wright brothers had their bicycle manufacturing plant and repair shop. The second floor, where they labored over their drawing boards, making plans for the first power-driven airplane, contains several small apartments. One apartment occupies the space where the Wrights conceived and constructed what is now known as a wind tunnel. Through the tunnel they drove a stream of air over miniature airfoils and made the first comprehensive measurements of lift and drag on various types of flat and curved wings. Working with crude but carefully calculated balances, it was in this old building the Wright brothers accurately analyzed for the first time what aeronautical engineers call the "travel of the center of pressure" on an airplane wing. It was their analysis of this that makes it possible to construct an airplane light enough to fly, yet strong enough to carry a load and withstand all the strains of flight. In this same old building the Wrights designed and built the first successful airplane propellers, and the first automatic pilot. A lean-to at the rear to the building formerly housed the shop in which they built and tested the first airplane engine. The building is to be dismantled as soon as the tenants vacate, probably within 60 days. It will be taken down carefully, brick by brick and board by board. Expert workmen will mark and number each piece to insure faithful re-erection at Greenfield. Alterations made since the Wright brothers vacated the building in 1916 will be eliminated and restoration made from drawings by Orville Wright himself."(8)

Sketch courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection. Original Cycle shop illustrated with addition to east. To restore the building back to the condition when occupied by the Wrights, the east addition will be removed.

Photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection, October 1936. The joint is apparent between original Building to the west, and addition to the east.

Image from 1936 Dayton newspaper from Wright Brothers Scrapbook 1933-1939, courtesy of Dayton Montgomery Co Library Genealogy Center. "Detroit workmen of Henry Ford are shown boarding the front of the former bicycle shop of Orville and Wilbur Wright, 1125-1127 West Third street, preparatory to dismantling it for shipment to Detroit, where it will be reconstructed in Greenfield Village museum." See photo below for interior view.

Deconstruction of the Wright Cycle Company building, November 5, 1936 Dayton news photo from Wright Brothers scrapbook 1933-1939, courtesy of Dayton Montgomery Co Library Genealogy Center. From the article, "Ford Motor Co. trucks Thursday were backed up to the rear of the building, and bricks and shingle debris tumbled down wooden chutes to be carted away as fast as the trucks were filled. The dismantling, being directed by Edward Cutler, was undertaken following the visit here of Henry and Edsel Ford nine days ago....Bricks, shingles and lesser pieces of the framework are not being marked for exact replacement. The building is to be precisely as it was 35 years ago, when the Wright brothers conducted their bicycle business here..." West Third street is just beyond the temporary wood frame barrier to the left side of this photo.
From the Dayton Journal July 5, 1936 article, "Daytonians Stirred to New Appreciation of Wright Brothers by Removal of Old Building, Some Approve, Others Lament Purchase by Henry Ford", the other shoe hadn't dropped when the following was written, "As far as Henry Ford is concerned, acquisition of the Wright shop is along the lines he has been pursuing and I am sure it will be well preserved. Some time ago he acquired Edison's home at Milan and removed it to Greenfield, making it a sort of shrine. We still have the Wright home where Bishop Wright, Orville, Wilbur and Katharine all lived at the time the boys were making their first successful efforts in aviation." (9) George W. Lane, realtor, is quoted in this article, "Dayton has been rather backward in many things they might have done for the Wright brothers. So far as this particular matter is concerned, I am not particularly disturbed, because the shop has been so changed from its original form that it has practically lost its identity, but I do think that something should be done to preserve the original hangar at Simms Station.....But we here in Dayton let it decay."
Then, another Dayton article from July 12, 1936 "Bicycle Shop Not Only Building of Historical Interest" reads, "Just because Henry Ford has purchased the old bicycle shop on West Third street where Orville and Wilbur Wright built some of the parts for their first gliders and airplanes, Daytonians need not lament that there is nothing left which bears a distinct relationship to these two boys and their epochal achievement....First there is the house at 7 Hawthorne street where the Wright family lived for years....It was in this house that the boys planned and accomplished much of their early work....Close after the war, Orville built for himself the special laboratory at 15 North Broadway...One of the earliest remembrances of the Wright boys and their local experiments is the old hangar...still standing on the Huffman prairies......Orville insists that this is not the original hangar, that having disappeared, but it is one of the earliest, possibly the second."
The home was moved to Greenfield Village, the 15 North Broadway Lab was demolished, and the hangar fell into decay.

Display of 1903 Wright Flyer during International Air Races, 1924, Dayton.
Image of the Wright Hangar at Huffman Prairie, Oct 2-4, 1924 during the International Air Races held in Dayton. The restored 1903 Wright Flyer was on display within the hangar.(12)

From the Dayton Journal October 28, 1936, Henry Ford and Edward Cutler walked the Wright Cycle Company building taking notes as Orville Wright "explained that a certain partition was not there originally....Mr. Cutler..was busy jotting down notes on changes as they were recalled by Mr. Wright. He is the man (Mr. Cutler), it was explained, who has general charge of all the restorations Mr. Ford makes when removing a famous birthplace or landmark to Greenfield village. Mr. Ford seemed very particular regarding the exactness of the dimensions. "I'll know within a couple of inches," Orville explained....Every window, every floor, every door came under the scrutiny of Mr. Ford, who persistently requested information as to whether this or that was the original or had been replaced later. Upstairs, Mr. Wright showed him the room in the rear where the boys painted and enameled bicycles they repaired. He explained that there was a gas oven there, but that electricity was something too new and expensive for them to enjoy. Even the stairway to the second floor came in for attention and correction. Mr. Wright said that originally it went up through what is now a closet and Mr. Ford indicated that when restored the stairway would be in its original place...Through the inside and all around the outside of the old bicycle shop the visitors were escorted by Mr. Wright. It seemed not a detail was overlooked." (Except concerning the two windows on the west face of the building- see comments on sixth photo below).
From the Dayton Journal, December 12, 1937, "Investigators for Mr. Ford found that the Wright Cycle company shop at 1127 West Third street underwent a number of changes during the years that the boys occupied it. It seemed logical, however, that the reconstructed shop should represent the now famous period of 1903, natal year of the first successful airplane."(10)

Beginning of reconstruction of Wright Cycle Company 1937, Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan. Photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

Reconstruction of the Wright Cycle Company 1937, Greenfield Village. Basement construction underway, photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

Reconstruction of the Wright Cycle Company 1937, Greenfield Village. Storage of block and brick, rear of construction area, photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

Reconstruction of the Wright Cycle Company 1937, Greenfield Village. Rear shed has been constructed. Compare to second photo (from 1910) in this post of this structure at its original Dayton location. Photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

Construction of Wright Cycle Shop, March of 1937, Greenfield Village. Photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

Construction of the Wright Cycle Company, 1937, Greenfield Village. Note the windows installed on the side (original west face of building). These windows were not present in the earlier years when the building was occupied by the Wright Brothers, but were added at a later date. This error was likely pointed out by Orville Wright, and the windows were removed prior to the dedication of the buildings. Photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection.

Wright Cycle Company near completion at Greenfield Village, Dearborn Michigan. Photo courtesy of the Collections of The Henry Ford, Benson Ford Research Center Wright Brothers Collection. Compare to 2011 photo below taken by author, and note the infill of bricks at location of removed windows.

From The Edison Institute Dedication of The Wright Brothers Home and Shop in Greenfield Village, "In 1936, largely through the efforts of the Early Birds, an organization of aviators who learned to fly before December 17, 1916, both the house at No. 7 Hawthorn Street and the shop at 1127 West Third Street were acquired by The Edison Institute and re-erected in Greenfield Village. There, on April 16, 1938, the 71st anniversary of Wilbur Wright's birth, these buildings were formally dedicated in honor of Orville Wright and in memory of Wilbur Wright."

Wright Cycle Company, Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan, photo by author 2011.

Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan overhead Bing view of Wright Cycle Company and home.

Family group photo, April 16, 1938 at dedication of the Wright Cycle Company building and Wright home at Greenfield Village. Orville Wright is in center, three rows back, Lulu Wright (Reuchlin Wright's widow) is just in front of the right porch post, and her grandson Wilbur Herbert Wright is back row furthest to the left, in uniform. Lorin Wright is third from the left in front, holding a white folder. Photo courtesy of Special Collections & Archives, Wright State University.

1938 Wright Brothers Cycle Shop and Homestead, Greenfield Village postcard from authors' collection. This postcard was mailed by Wilbur Herbert Wright to his father Herbert Wright on April 16, 1938, the day of dedication of the buildings, and when the above family photo was taken. Herbert Wright did not attend the ceremony; Herbert was the son of Reuchlin and Lulu Wright. Note that the two windows on original west face of Cycle Shop have been removed.

Postcard mailed by son Wilbur to father Herbert Wright from Greenfield Village, the day of the dedication, April 16, 1938.

The Edison Institute Dedication of The Wright Brothers Home and Shop in Greenfield Village Dearborn, Michigan April Sixteenth Nineteen Hundred Thirty-Eight, 62 page booklet, authors' copy.

Former location of 1127 West Third Street Wright Cycle Company, Dayton, Ohio. Single story creamed colored building sat on footprint of location of the Wright Cycle Company. This photo is by the author, from 2001. This building has since been demolished.

Sign at site of original location of the Wright Cycle Company, photo by author 2012.

1135 West Third Street, immediately to the west of former site of 1127 Wright Cycle Company, photo courtesy of Mongomery County GIS. This building can be seen in the 1936 photo of the Wright Cycle Shop earlier in this post.

Three photos by author of West Third Street Dayton Ohio combined in panoramic view, taken October of 2016, former location of Wright Cycle Company. Click on picture to enlarge view.

Though the building has been relocated to Michigan, the original site on West Third Street where the building long stood is most definitely worth visiting. On these grounds the Wright Brothers manufactured bicycles, they experimented with their wind tunnel, they fine-tuned the science of aviation. Here is where the echos of their engine tests reverberated, and their loud discussions concerning the design of the propellers took place, where Wilbur always enjoyed a "Good Scrap" with his brother Orv.

Rear view of former location of Wright Cycle Company from French Lane looking south, photo by author, October 2016.
Timothy Gaffney, in his book "The Dayton Flight Factory" 2014, wrote "Standing in front of the wrought-iron fence at 1127 West Third Street in Dayton, all you see today is a large grassy lot that makes a gap in a row of late nineteenth-century commercial buildings. But here is where the airplane was born." (11)

Reproduction of the Wright Cycle Company at Carillon Park in Dayton, Ohio, photo by author, 2012.

Additional Recommended Reading:
"Allowing the Bicycle Shop to go to Michigan", Ch 84 of Ohio Home of the Wright Brothers, Louis Chmiel, 2013. 

Pictures of Ads added 11/10/16
The Shop That Became A Shrine, added 11/12/16
Correction to family group photo caption, 12/14/16
Wright 1911 Ad added 1/6/17
1887 and 1897 Sanborn maps, workshop postcard, Greenfield Village photo added 7/21/18
Minor revisions 8/29/18
Photo of Wright Hangar at Huffman Prairie added 11/22/18
Photo of Wright Cycle Shop 1923 added 2/27/19

1. I found an interesting entry in the 1902 Dayton Directory, apparently an occupant of the second floor apartment in this building- "East, Fred, blacksmith, res. 1127 West Third Street." In the 1913 Dayton Directory, it lists "Black Geo chauffeur rms 1127 W 3d.
2. The Other Career of Wilbur and Orville, Wright & Wright Printers, Charlotte K. and August E. Brunsman, 1988.
3. Information is from researching the 1910 through 1922 Dayton Directories. It appears the addition to the building was constructed in 1913 after the flood. Likely the flood destroyed the single story wood structure. The three tenants in this photo, John Upshaw Tailor, West Side Electric Shoe Repair, and Fred Ritter Florist, were all present only from 1918 through possibly 1920, thus the date of the photo around 1920. I was not able to access the 1920 Directory.
4. The Montgomery County GIS Commercial property data for 1135 West Third lists the building construction date as 1900. This is in error, and the likely date is 1927/1928.
5. From 1936 Dayton Directory.
6. From July 4, 1936 Dayton News article "Removal of Old Wright Laboratory From Dayton to Ford Museum Starts in 60 Days", from Wright Brothers scrapbook 1933-1939, Dayton Mont Co Library Genealogy Center.
7. I am not clear on when the changes were made to the rear of 1127/1125. It appears the wooden pitched roof structure in which the Wrights performed their aviation experiments was totally replaced by the flat roof two story wooden structures shown in the 1936 photos before 1920. My guess is nothing was left of the original, and that this portion of the building at Greenfield Village is therefore a reproduction. Anyone having more information, please contact me, and I'll revise this post.
8. From July 3, 1936 issue of The Detroit News, "Historic Wright Workshop Will be a Michigan Shrine", by James V. Piersol, aviation editor of The Detroit News, copyright, 1936.
9. Quote from Howard S. Smith, chairman of the Dayton Chamber of Commerce aviation committee.
10. "Home, History of Wright Bros. Preserved For Posterity by Efforts of Ford at Dearborn", by A. S. Kany, Journal Dec 12, 37.
11. Timothy Gaffney further writes "The original building...stands in Henry Ford's Greenfield Village...But its foundation still lies largely intact beneath the surface." Now, that is just plain cool!
12. This photo was recently offered on E-bay, misidentified as Wright Hangar at Kitty Hawk. I attempted to purchase it, but bid went over $125, beyond my budget.
13. Press photo from the Author's collection. Back of photo reads, "Wright Brothers honored on 20th anniversary of first airplane flight- Dayton, Ohio....Shown is the building here, which was used as a storehouse and factory by the Wright Brothers in 1903. It was here that Wilbur and Orville Wright constructed their first airplane, in which they made successful flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903. On the 20th anniversary of that epochal flight, the entire nation paid honor to the Wright Brothers for their achievements in pioneer aviation."

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