The Wright Brothers' Bicycles

The first thing that will surely come to your mind when you hear "The Wright Brothers" is the airplane. We have come to associate their names with the world's best known flying machine.  But while this maybe true, Wilbur and Orville Wright weren't the first ones to have made human flight possible.  There were others who preceded them using fixed-wing aircraft.  However, what they actually did accomplish as a first was to fly an aircraft that they could control while in flight. This has never been done before. The fixed-winged aircraft could simply fly in one direction and could not be controlled while in the air.

But why are we mentioning the Wright Brothers here and what's their connection with bikes?

What the Wright brothers actually did accomplish as a first was to fly an aircraft that they could control while in flight... and they used bicycle parts to build their aircraft.

A whole lot of course! Did you know that the airplane we have become used to see fly over our heads effortlessly was first conceived in the minds of Orville and Wilbur Wright using bicycle parts? The flying machine they created was built in their bike repair shop and we can only imagine how they came to put together those bike parts they found lying around their shop and from them build a true flying machine which they called the “Wright Flyer.”  That was in the early 1890’s.

  TypographicBicycle AARLINE 14x8

What Your Bike Says About You

First of all, let us admit that the title of this article is definitely not the most original one for a Firefly Brigade website but we beg you to indulge us and suspend your disbelief...

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In 1892, Wilbur opened the Wright Cycle Exchange a bicycle sales and repair shop. Not long afterwards, Orville came in as a partner and they renamed their bicycle business the Wright Cycle Company. They not only repaired bike but actually manufactured their very own bicycle brands: the Van Cleveand St. Clairbicycles.These were not mass produced bikes, those that we call today "department store bikes", but rather custom-built ones. The Wright Brothers introduced their own original improvements to the bikes they produced such as coaster brakes and oil-retaining wheel hub.

So next time you see a bicycle being ridden by someone you think of as an ordinary man,, please stop thinking this way.  The bike has gone a long way and will still go up higher and farther in the future as we slowly lose the fossil fuel that runs our cars today.

 

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