[WRIGHT BROTHERS]. WRIGHT, Wilbur (1867-1912) -- WRIGHT, Orville (1871-1948).
Photograph signed ("Orville Wright" "Wilbur Wright"). 128 x 177 mm, black and white. Taken for Collier's Weekly by James H. ("Jimmy") Hare, stamped on verso with pencil annotations: "Orville Wright making first 1 hour flight at Fort Myer, Sept. 9, 1908."
PHOTOGRAPH OF THE FIRST HOUR-LONG FLIGHT, EXCEEDINGLY SCARCE SIGNED BY BOTH WILBUR AND ORVILLE WRIGHT
Despite having made numerous successful flights after their first flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Wright brothers were reluctant to reveal their flying machine to the public without the protection of a patent. By 1908, other early aviators were making successful flights in front of amazed crowds. With contracts finally finalized with a French syndicate and the U. S. Army, the Wrights were willing to make their first public flights, and on 8 August 1908, Wilbur Wright made his first flight in public at the Hunaudieres race course just south of Le Mans, France. Following their success in France, the Wright brothers set the price for their airplane at $25,000, and flight trials for the Army were scheduled in Fort Myer. There, Orville made his first public flight on 3 September, and flew daily over the course of the next two weeks to meet the Army's criteria. On the morning of September 9, he remained in the air for 57 minutes 31 seconds; later that day, he established the first flight lasting over an hour, remaining in the air one hour 2 minutes 15 seconds.
TAKEN BY JIMMY HARE, THE FIRST NEWS PHOTOGRAPHER TO RECORD AND PUBLISH AN AIRPLANE IN FLIGHT
James H. ("Jimmy") Hare was on hand to capture this first hour-long flight. Prior to 1908, no professional photographs had been taken of the Wright brothers in flight, and the amateur photograph of their 17 December 1903 flight at Kitty Hawk had never been released. Following up on a rumor, Jimmy Hare and a group of four reporters hiked the dunes at Kitty Hawk until they found what they believed to be the Wrights' testing site. When the Wrights' machine appeared on the horizon, Jimmy Hare took two shots, and became the first news photographer to record an airplane in flight; the images were published in Collier's Weekly on May 30, 1908. He was on hand again to photograph the Wrights at Fort Myer for Collier's Weekly, and published other images of Orville Wright's September 9th flights in the September 26th issue (p.11, "Skyscraping at Fort Myer").