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The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright (1989)

by Tom D. Crouch

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An account of how the two inventors were guided by their father, the years leading to the triumph of practical flight, and the death of Orville in 1948.

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Excellent account of the Wright Brothers and how they found out about heavier-than-air powered flight. ( )
  kslade | Dec 8, 2022 |
A complete biography of the Wright Brothers, with a fleshing out of their early years, the story of their indomitable father, the bishop, and of their mother, from whom they inherited their mechanical skills. The chronicle of two brothers who, together at every step, changed technology forever and expanded the world. Brilliant, self-trained engineers, the Wright brothers had a unique blend of native talent, character, and family experience that perfectly suited them to the task of invention but left them ill-prepared to face a world of skeptics, rivals, and officials. Using a treasure trove of Wright family correspondence and diaries, Tom Crouch skillfully weaves the story of the airplane's invention into the drama of a unique and unforgettable family. He shows us exactly how and why these two obscure bachelors from Dayton, Ohio, were able to succeed where so many better-trained, better-financed rivals had failed.
  MasseyLibrary | May 31, 2018 |
In this flawless biography of the Wright brothers, Tom Crouch (chairman of the department of aeronautics at the National Air & Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution) explains the background, personal and technical factors behind the first successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on the 17th December 1903.

The original aircraft is in the Smithsonian and says on the label, "By original scientific research, the Wright brothers discovered the principles of human flight as inventors, builders, and fliers they further developed the aeroplane, taught man to fly, and opened the era of aviation." Crouch looks at each of these elements but goes further in showing their persistence, strong family ties and complete integrity. I had the feeling that if any of these pieces were missing it would never have happened. Altogether a great book.

As a very minor point, it would have been useful to have diagrams to help follow the more technical aspects of the design changes. ( )
2 vote Miro | Jan 3, 2010 |
2539 The Bishop's Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright, by Tom D. Crouch (read 5 Oct 1993) (Book of the Year) This 1989 biography is a very good book--sheerly fascinating and I really enjoyed it. This is just a very excellent book and I found it utterly absorbing, though I know nothing about the technical aspects of flight (despite a course in high school on aeronautics). This is a book which cannot but cause one to admire the Wrights. There are so many fascinating things, highlighted of course by Dec 17, 1903--the day the airplane was born. I have never read anything much about aviation before: this shows one should not hesitate to read in unfamiliar fields. This is the best book I have read in a long time,,just utterly absorbing. The book ends with the label on the Wright airplane at the Smithsonian (how ignorant I was when I saw it back in 1950--it only got to the Smithsonian in 1948, and the story of how it got there is only one of the numerous fascinating things this book tells. This turned out to be the best book I read in 1993--and I read 83 books that year. ( )
2 vote Schmerguls | Apr 17, 2008 |
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An account of how the two inventors were guided by their father, the years leading to the triumph of practical flight, and the death of Orville in 1948.

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