The Wright Brothers Patent the Miracle of Flight This Day in 1903

On March 23, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright filed the first patent for their "Flying Machine" which they would fly successfully on December 17 of the same year. Other inventors were making strides elsewhere around the world, but the Wrights achieved the first "controlled, powered and sustained heavier-than-air human flight."

A documentary produced by the Department of Defense in 1970 celebrates the Wright brothers' historic achievements. The excerpt below describes some of their earliest flights, and the documentary is available in its entirety at the Internet Archive


A diagram of the "Flying Machine" from the 1903 patent filing,  which was granted in 1906.  

For more films from the Internet Archive, visit http://archive.org/.

Via the PBS "This Day in History" Tumblr

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg is the executive producer for video at The AtlanticMore

Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg joined The Atlantic in 2011 to launch its video channel and, in 2013, create its in-house video production department. She leads the development and production of original documentaries, interviews, and other video content for The Atlantic. Previously, she worked as a producer at Al Gore’s Current TV and as a content strategist and documentary producer in San Francisco. She studied filmmaking and digital media at Harvard University.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Video

Just In