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First airplane death - a passenger with Orville Wright...

Item # 681887

September 23, 1908

THE GREENSBOROUGH PATRIOT, North Carolina, September 23, 1908 

* Orville Wright Injured
* Thomas Etholen Selfridge Killed
* 1st powered airplane fatality

Page 4 has: "THE AIRSHIP DIASTER", with a corresponding article of, "The disaster to the air ship of Orville Wright in which the inventor was badly wounded and his companion killed is keenly felt in Washington, where the experiments were made". The article goes on to list Lieutenant Selfridge as the one who died in the crash, making him the first to die in an airplane crash.

Complete in twelve pages, loose along the spine with (typical) binding holes, a few small archival mends, and quite brittle. Average fragility for the era. Page 5 has been placed on the top for easy viewing.

Background (Wikipedia): "[Orville] Wright suffered severe injuries, including a broken left thigh, several broken ribs, and a damaged hip, and was hospitalized for seven weeks."

Interesting Tidbit: President Theodore Roosevelt had expressed interest in being a passenger. After Orville stated that while safe, it would not be prudent for the President to do so, Lieutenant Selfridge was chosen instead (paraphrased from, "The Wright Brothers", by David McCullough).

Category: Pre-Civil War