WRIGHT, ORVILLE. (1871‑1948). American inventor and aviation pioneer who, with his brother Wilbur, completed the first sustained and piloted flight of a heavier-than-air machine. TLS. (“Orville Wright”). 1p. 4to. Dayton, November 10, 1921. To L.D. Gardner of Gardner, Moffat Company, publisher of the Aviation and Aircraft Journal from 1919 to 1921.
“I am returning enclosed the copies of Walcott’s and Manly’s replies to Brewer’s paper, which you kindly sent me. I am now in receipt of Mr. Brewer’s reply to these papers of Walcott, Zahm, Manly and Curtiss, which will be printed in the December issue of the Aeronautical Journal. I am seriously considering your suggestion to make some comment on the papers. I find that Walcott has fooled even Brewer, who, knowing the character of these men, was naturally on his guard. Walcott does not deny Brewer’s statement that only the cost of transportation of the machine to Hammondsport was paid by the Smithsonian, nor does he say that the Institution paid Curtiss $2,000, as Brewer understood him to say. This is another case, I think, of very skillful handling of English, which may be compared with the phrase in the National Advisory Committee recommendation to the President, which to the average reader appeared to recommend against a unified air service, but as a matter of fact does not, upon close examination of the wording. I must say I cannot help but admire Curtiss’ nerve. Only one with colossal nerve would dare to come out with the flat statements such as Curtiss makes, that the machine he flew at Hammondsport was the original Langley machine without any change except the addition of floats, when Walcott, Zahm and Manly admit the photographs prove that the changes mentioned by Brewer had been made in the machine. I note what you say in regard to the publication of Zahm’s reply in the Air Service magazine. I had not heard anything of this, but as Findley, the editor, has always been one of my dearest friends, I do not think that he will allow Zahm to get any unfair advantage in his paper.…”