“Men had by common consent adopted human flight as the standard of impossibility. When a man said, “It can’t be done; a man might as well try to fly,” he was understood as expressing the final limit of impossibility…We found that men of the very highest standing in the profession of science and invention had attempted to solve the problem…but one by one, they had been compelled to confess themselves beaten, and had discontinued their efforts. In studying their failures we found many points of interest to us.”

Wilbur Wright

Source | The Dayton News (May 31, 1912)


Today is the unofficial day for celebrating brothers and sisters: Siblings Day. It isn’t recognized as a national holiday but since 1998, the governors of 49 U.S. states have officially issued proclamations to recognize Siblings Day in their state. It has even begun to spread around the globe.


One of the best-known sibling teams in history is the Wright Brothers; Orville and Wilbur. And, as recounted in David McCullough’s wonderful biography of the two men, their sister Katherine played a big part in the work of her siblings.

A great blend of mechanical know-how, business acumen, and luck gave the Wright brothers a blend of attributes that helped them succeed together. We highly recommend McCullough’s book for its exploration of a sibling story we think we know, but discover is even far more inspiring than we realized.


Source of quotation | Civil-suit deposition against the Herring-Curtiss Company (1909), reported in The Dayton News (May 31, 1912)

Photo | U.S. Library of Congress