The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age

Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact


Crouch and Jakab detail the lives and achievements of Orville and Wilbur Wright, on the occasion of the centennial of the first manned flight by the Wright Brothers on 17 December 1903 at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The authors discuss the technical challenges they faced and their achievements in aeronautics. Also discussed is the long-standing feud between the Wright Brothers and the Smithsonian Institution over whether Smithsonian Secretary Samuel Pierpont Langley's 1903 "Aerodrome" was capable of flight.


  • Wright, Orville 1871-1948
  • Wright, Wilbur 1867-1912
  • Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Crouch and Jakab are both curators at the National Air and Space Museum.

Contained within


Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,




  • Langley-Wright Controversy
  • Airplanes
  • Langley Aerodrome
  • History of Technology
  • Langley Aerodrome Tests
  • Aeronautics
  • Wright Flyer (Airplane)

Physical description

Number of pages: 240

Full Record

View Full Record