[WRIGHT BROTHERS]. WRIGHT, Wilbur (1867-1912) -- WRIGHT, Orville (1871-1948). Typed document signed ("Wilbur Wright", "Orville Wright", "George A. Steves", "Henry S. Hooker", "Alpheus F. Barnes"), New York, NY, 18 November 1909.
6 pages, on legal sheets, thicker back cover page date stamped recording date of 23 November 1909, with typed company name and a few notes in an unidentified hand, bound with copper brads upper margin, additionally signed by E. Mortimer Boyle, Notary Public in New York County, a notary slip for Montgomery County Ohio signed by the Clerk of the Common Pleas Court dated 20 November 1909 affixed to page 6, with a duplicate receipt for $500.00 from the treasurer's Office for the State of New York dated 22 November 1909, sheets skillfully reinforced along folds on verso repairing several separations, including a fold bisecting Orville Wright's signature.
A FOUNDING DOCUMENT IN THE HISTORY OF AVIATION: THE CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION FOR THE WRIGHT COMPANY
Wilbur and Orville Wright established their company in 1909 to capitalize on their invention of the practical airplane, and to protect their invention. Outlined in the Certificate of Incorporation are the stated purposes of the company, primarily "To manufacture, sell, deal in, operate or otherwise use at any place or places on the North American continent and the islands adjacent thereto, machines, ships, or other mechanical contrivances for aerial operation or navigation of any and every kind and description, and any future improvements or developments of same." The certificate is signed by five stockholders of the company on the last page.
The Wright Company was founded as a million-dollar corporation, with Wilbur Wright as president, Orville Wright and Andrew Freedman as vice presidents, Alpheus F. Barnes as secretary and treasurer. The Wrights sold their American patent rights to the company on November 27th for $100,000 cash, 40 percent of the company stock, and a 10 percent royalty on every machine built. Cornelius Vanderbilt, Robert J. Collier, and Russell A. Alger, directors of the newly-formed company, ordered the first three airplanes from the company in November 1909. The Company was immediately involved in a number of suits against patent infringers, and subsequently bore the expense of protecting the patents. The Company, which was headquartered in New York, broke ground on a factory in Dayton Ohio in January 1910; the factory buildings were the first in the United States constructed specifically as an airplane factory.
After Wilbur's unexpected death in 1912, Orville became president. He purchased 97% of the outstanding stock in 1914, and on October 15, 1915, he sold the company, which in 1916 merged with the Glenn L. Martin company to form the Wright-Martin Company. Orville estimated that the company built approximately 120 airplanes from 1910 through 1915.