Outstanding and very rare 6.5 x 4.75 photo of Orville and Wilbur Wright posing before a launching derrick with the first three French pilots trained by Wilbur in Pau, France, signed and inscribed in black ink, “A souvenir of our school days at Pau, in February and March 1909. Wilbur Wright,” and, “Orville Wright.” Photo is affixed to a slightly larger mount. In fine condition, with some scattered light surface marks and some mild silvering to darker areas of image, visible only at an angle. Accompanied by unsigned original photos of Paul Tissandier and de Lambert seated in the cockpit of the Wright flier.
In order to secure a contract for their Flyer with a private syndicate headed by the wealthy French businessman M. Lazare Weiller, the Wrights had to complete several public demonstration flights, proving that their plane could fly a distance of at least 50 kilometers with a passenger. After a captivating series of 1908 flights in Le Mans, far surpassing the requirements of the French contract, Wilbur was joined by Orville, who had been giving similar demonstrations in the US. The two traveled to Pau, in the south of France, to train three selected French pilots before transferring the airplane to the French company. This outstanding photo shows the brothers with the first Wright-trained pilots, Charles de Lambert, Paul Tissandier, and Captain Paul N. Lucas-Girardville, as they achieved their first major financial success and reached the peak of international fame. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.