A Traveler and his Cat exploring America.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Wright Brother's Camp and Workshop

One feature of the Wright Brothers Memorial that really struck a chord with me was the recreation of their camp and workshop at Kill Devil Hills.  I neglected to get an overall outside photo of the two buildings while there.  Remember, it was cold, windy and rainy which had put me out of sorts.  I  looked in the book I had bought there to get some additional pictures (black and whites) for you.

This is how the two reconstructed buildings look today (copied from the park's handout), 

pretty much like the originals in this photo from 1903.
The building on the left is their workshop and the right living quarters.

When I saw the kitchen inside my thoughts went immediately to the preserved camps
 of Scott and Shackleton in Antarctica.

The park service went to great effort finding period correct can goods and utensils to display just like in the original photo of 1903.

The brothers slept in two bunks set up in the rafters.

This is the 1902 version of their camp shed where you can see Wilbur cooking in the back on the opposite side of the building.  Wilbur did all the cooking.  
They are working on the assembly of a glider.

Today's version of the 1903 work shed.

This is their first camp in 1900.

 This photo is taken from the hill in October 1903 still conducting glider tests while the powered Flyer was being assembled in camp down below.  
Two months later they would succeed in the first engine powered flight.

When the brothers returned to Kill Devil Hills in 1908 they found the harsh North Carolina weather had left their camp in ruins.  That is the 1902 glider in the shed.  They had already rebuilt their living quarters (to the right) when this photo was taken.

In 1912 Wilbur Wright contracted typhoid fever and died on May 30.  Orville, the younger of the two brothers by 4 years lived into his 77th year passing away on January 30, 1948.  I was conceived one month later.  That is the best I can do to connect myself to these two amazing men.


  1. certainly going back in history and a very interesting post John ...clever men

  2. some pretty sparse living conditions, there. but for brothers on a mission...

  3. Many thanks for this wonderful post John...

  4. Their quarters were quite spartan. Their work was amazing to me. Sad that Wilbur died of typhoid after risking his neck so many times in experimental aircraft. He overcame one danger only to die of another.

  5. It is pretty cool what the achieved.

  6. Thanks for sharing these. I love their tent.

  7. I wonder if there is a bicycle made by them from that period still existing. Or were they totally committed to the task to get a plane in the air and never touched a bicycle again.

  8. It is always interesting to see how they managed to make things in such primitive conditons.When you compare it with modern factories it is hard to believe they got it flying in the air.

  9. What a disappointment it must have been to find their camp in such disrepair! I didn't realize Wilbur died so young. I wonder what the pair might have come up with if they'd worked together longer.

  10. Breaking away from these two puppies is nearly impossible. But glad I did. These guys were pretty amazing. (And yes, Harry could have been a Ricky to go along with Lucy, but I knew of a Ricky and not too fond of ... anyway, he looks more like a Harry!)

  11. They are amazing men...and I sure did enjoy this post.

    I also think back to when everyone had so few things...look at those pics and think about the two of them lived there and probably happily.


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