Collection of 15 original vintage unsigned glossy photos, both 7 x 5 and 5 x 7, taken for Collier’s magazine by J. H. Hare. Photos include: Orville in flight on September 7, 1908, during the first hour-long flight; senators and congressmen inspecting the plane in between flights; one photo of aviation pioneer and competitor Glenn Curtiss; two photos of the plane’s launch device; one photo of passenger Lt. Thomas Selfridge being transported on a stretcher after the September 17, 1908 crash that claimed his life; and two photos of the plane covered in a tarp after the crash. Twelve of the photos show the brothers’ plane. In very good condition, with a few missing corners and scattered surface marks and creases.
Taken by Collier’s famous photojournalist Jimmy Hare, this outstanding collection of original gelatin silver photographs captures the heyday of the Wright brothers’ earliest public flights. Most notable are the photographs from the failed flight in Fort Meyer, Florida on September 17, 1908. While demonstrating their achievement for the U.S. army in an attempt at securing a purchase, a propeller blade broke and spun the machine out of control, sending the plane crashing to the ground from a height of about 75 feet. Orville suffered extensive injuries and his passenger, Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge, became the first airplane fatality in history. Despite the disastrous ending, the Army was impressed and ordered the first military airplane from the Wright brothers, turning the tragedy into a simultaneous success. Combining the photos of this historic day with a dozen other fascinating images—including incredible shots of the aircraft in flight; Wilbur standing at his plane’s side; rival Glenn Curtiss watching Orville fly, just months before facing accusations of copying their design—this extraordinary collection tells the story of the brothers’ early public flights with astounding clarity. RRAuction COA.