Primary Sources: "Girls Flew Too"

Leontine
Bertha
Ivonette

Wright Reminiscences

The following is an excerpt from the bookWright Reminiscences which was complied by Ivonette Wright Miller, the niece of Orville and Wilbur Wright.

I remember that Leontine wrote while Uncle Orv and Will were in Europe and asked to be the first girl to fly in America. In August of 1911, when Uncle Reuch and his daughter (Bertha) Ellwyn were visiting us, Uncle Orv took us all up, all three of us. Leontine was first, Ellwyn being our guest was second. Then it was my turn. We used Captain Chandler’s leather coat and gloves. He was in flight training at the time. I wore a small hat with a scarf over it tied under the chin to keep it on. After the others had climbed in and out of the plane so carefully so that they wouldn’t trip the wire that turned off the gas, I climbed in for my ride. The seat was on the wing with our feet out over the edge of the strut - no cockpit. We took off and soon everything on the ground was dwarfed. We circled around over the field at Simms and after about 7 minutes or more Uncle Orv pointed to the traction car approaching in the distance. He shouted above the noise of the engine, "Here comes the traction, shall we try to catch it?" I nodded. We came down, I slid out under the wires, handed over the coat and gloves to Captain Chandler as I went by the hangar and made a run for it. The traction car was now stopped and taking on passengers, so we made it easily.

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