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Modern Mysteries

Wright Brothers' patent discovered in a cave

April 5, 2016 | Comment icon 8 comments



The Wright Brothers' invention was revolutionary. Image Credit: PD - Wright Brothers
A missing patent for the world's first powered flying machine has been found in an old archive in Kansas.
On 17 December 1903, American inventors Orville and Wilbur Wright cemented their place in the history books when they carried out the first ever powered, heavier-than-air flight.

But what exactly became of the patent for their original flying machine design ?

The document, which the pair filed before their successful maiden flight, was granted back in 1906 and had since been kept at the US National Archives as a document of major historical importance.
By the year 2000 however the patent appeared to have gone missing and despite a concerted effort, officials were unable to track down exactly what had happened to it.

Now though, following a renewed attempt to track down the elusive file, the Wright Brother's patent has finally been located within a 15ft-high stack of documents that had been deposited at a special records storage cave in Kansas where it was found by volunteer archivist Bob Beebe.

Bearing the words "flying machine", the document reads: "Be it known that we Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright, both citizens of the United States, residing in the city of Dayton and state of Ohio, have jointly invented a new and useful machine for navigating the air."

The file is now set to go on display at the National Archives Museum in Washington.

Source: Sky News | Comments (8)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by DeeSember 6 years ago
They keep things in a Save Cave? Is Kansas a good place? If it goes missing again it will probably end up in OZ.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Infernal Gnu 6 years ago
The caves there are the flattest in the country, doesn't seem safe. Mammoth Cave is better.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Codenwarra 6 years ago
Yet another dubious story about patents. Here is an uncorrected OCR scan of US patent 821,393 http://www.google.co...1393?dq=821,393 Here are images of the original text, on the USPTO web site. http://pdfpiw.uspto....View first page For Google or anyone to make a scan of the patent, it must have existed somewhere, and since Google did not exist before 1998, then it cannot have been missing since 1980. This took me about 7 minutes to find.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Codenwarra 6 years ago
Re-reading the report, it may be that they mean the associated correspondence as well as the patent document. But it is unclear.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Black Monk 6 years ago
Percy Pilcher should have got there before the Wright Brothers.
Comment icon #6 Posted by paperdyer 6 years ago
They keep things in a Save Cave? Is Kansas a good place? If it goes missing again it will probably end up in OZ. The caves there are the flattest in the country, doesn't seem safe. Mammoth Cave is better. At least Kansas will be one of the last dry places when all the ice melts, unless another meteor hits or a nuclear winter cools the Earth into another ice age.
Comment icon #7 Posted by regeneratia 6 years ago
http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article69675387.html Local archivist finds missing Wright brothers patent in Lenexa storage caves At least Kansas will be one of the last dry places when all the ice melts, unless another meteor hits or a nuclear winter cools the Earth into another ice age. Or the nuclear energy facilities blow.
Comment icon #8 Posted by Black Monk 6 years ago
At least Kansas will be one of the last dry places when all the ice melts, unless another meteor hits or a nuclear winter cools the Earth into another ice age. The ice isn't melting. There's no Global Warming. If anything, Earth's getting naturally cooler.


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