Current Auction Is Open For Bidding
Our Current Auction Closes Mar 07    
Home |Sitemap|Contact Us| Past Auctions  
 How to Bid   Register to Bid   Auctions   Consign   About US   Featured Lots 
Bidder Login
Bidder #

New Bidder Registration
Forgot your password?

The Current Auction
Ends March 7th
Featured Items (48)
Military (144)
Modern Music (78)
Notables (151)
Declaration of Independence Signers (6)
Comic Art & Animation (20)
Supreme Court (7)
Literature (77)
Scientists and Inventors (28)
Businessmen (10)
Notorious Figures and Lawmen (7)
Intellectuals (13)
Religious Figures (10)
Titanic and Maritime (2)
Explorers and Archaeologists (4)
American West (2)
Aviation (9)
Space (31)
Cosmonauts (2)
Project Gemini (1)
Project Mercury (2)
Apollo 11 (7)
Apollo 15 (1)
Apollo 13 (1)
Apollo 16 (2)
Apollo 17 (2)
Skylab (1)
Activists and Social Leaders (8)
Apollo-Soyuz (1)
World Leaders and Politicians (23)
Space Shuttle (5)
Royalty (22)
Presidents and First Ladies (151)
Soviet/Russian Post-1970 Space Program (3)
Miscellany (1)
Art, Architecture, and Design (53)
Classic Music (26)
Sports (42)
Classic Entertainment (96)
All Auction Items (874)
Pop Culture Auction Preview
Begins Mar 08
Advanced Search
By Item Number
Gallery Search
Past Auction Search
How Do I Bid?
What is BidTracker™?
New Bidder Registration
The 30-Minute Rule
Terms and Conditions
New to RR Auction?
About Us
Register to Bid
Jobs at RR Auction
Press Releases
Consign to RR Auction
How to Consign
2018 Auction Calendar
Jan 10
Jan 18
Feb 7
Feb 15
Mar 7
Mar 15
Apr 11
Apr 19
May 9
May 17
Jun 13
Jun 21
Jul 11
Jul 19
Aug 8
Aug 16
Sep 12
Sep 20
Oct 10
Oct 18
Nov 7
Nov 15
Dec 5
Dec 13
  More Dates & Deadlines

Item 13 - Orville Wright Catalog 419 (Nov 2013)

Back To Previous Page
(we are no longer accepting bids on this item)
Minimum Bid: $200.00
Sold Price: $3,259.20 (includes buyer's premium)


Final page of a TLS signed by Orville on behalf of both brothers, “Wilbur & Orville Wright,” one page, 8.25 x 11, Wright Cycle Company letterhead, November 17, 1905. Letter to accomplished balloonist and founder of L’Aerophile magazine, Georges Besancon. In part: “The claim often made in the 19th century that the lack of sufficiently light motors alone prohibited man from the empire of the air was quite unfounded. At the speeds which birds usually employ, a well designed flyer can in actual practice sustain a gross weight of 30 kilograms for each horse power of the motor, which gives ample margin for such motors as might easily have been built 50 years ago.” In fine condition, with intersecting folds (one vertical fold passing between Orville’s first and last name) and some light overall wrinkling. Accompanied by a period glossy 10.5 x 6 press photo of the Wrights’ biplane, bearing a P&A Photo stamp to reverse.

As early as 1901, Wilbur Wright claimed that men ‘know how to build engines and screws of sufficient lightness and power to drive these planes at sustaining speed,’ although no one had successfully done so yet. Determined to be the first, the brothers spent years constructing their motor, experimenting, evaluating, and redesigning before finally reaching success in 1903. Using a crankcase made of lightweight aluminum rather than cast iron, they produced an engine that could deliver one horsepower for every twelve pounds of engine weight (a remarkable difference, as the best engines of the time required at least 20 pounds to reach the same result). While this was a crowning achievement and a key part of the Wrights’ success, they also knew that it was only once piece of the puzzle. Remarking that even with the heavy motors that “might easily have been built 50 years ago,” a “well designed flyer” could still achieve flight, this letter reminds us that their innovative designs moved far beyond this single element. RR Auction COA.

Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.

You must be a registered user and logged in to view Past Auction Item Images

If you do not currently have an account, click here to go to our secure registration page.

Important Information

Tips For Consignors


For a complete list of auction beginning and ending dates, check our dates and deadlines page.