Turning Back the Pages

Aviation pioneer dies

Famous aeronaut Wilbur Wright, 45, with the world watching and hoping that he would win, lost his gallant fight for life against typhoid fever and died May 30, 1912 in Dayton, Ohio. Not until physicians uttered their last word did his loyal brother, Orville Wright, 41, constant companion and partner in his world triumphs, give up hope.

Influenced by Otto Lilienthal’s glider flights, on Dec. 17, 1903 the brothers successfully flew their first heavier-than-air flying machine which stayed aloft for 12 seconds and flew 120 feet, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Soon after, they gave up their bicycle manufacturing shop business and devoted full time to their new invention.

Their first power-driven aeroplane weighed 750 pounds and was constructed largely of bamboo with a 170-pound 12-hp engine that Orville designed. The only person who had faith in their efforts was their sister, Katherine Wright. In 1909, the brothers formed the Wright Co., an aircraft production company of which Wilbur was president until his death.

In 1909 Wilbur Wright he was awarded a gold medal by the French Academy of Sciences. Wilbur Wright was a bachelor.

Snakes alive

George Ainsworth, a farmer residing near Hague, had a terrible fright one evening when he picked up a snake thinking it was a small piece of wood which he wanted to use in driving his cows home.

The cows kept bothering him and looking about for a switch he espied what looked like a brown stick protruding from a bush. Reaching down he grabbed it only to have it squirm and strike out at him. It proved to be a spotted adder about four feet long. Ainsworth quickly recovered from his shock and killed the reptile.

In other news, Joseph Hander, a Lake George Indian who has started a rattlesnake farm to raise the reptiles for their oil, was bitten by one of his pets about two weeks ago and is expected to die. He cut the wound promptly and took an antidote. For a few days he felt no ill effects, but when he fell from a boat into the lake he caught cold and his leg became swollen to three times its normal size.

Readers are welcome to contact Adirondack Journal correspondent Jean Hadden at jhadden1@nycap.rr.com or 623-2210.

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