September 2017 Auction Ends Thursday, September 28th, 5pm Pacific
Original program from the 17 December 1948 dedication ceremony of the Kitty Hawk, the Wright Brothers' 1903 plane that ignited human aviation. Eight page program brings the long-standing feud between the Smithsonian Institution and the Wright Brothers to an end, and includes the infamous ''label'' negotiated between the two parties, crediting the Kitty Hawk as the first plane flown by man. The origins of the feud began with Samuel Langley, Secretary of the Smithsonian and flying enthusiast, who fancied himself as building the first aeroplane. His plane, the Aerodrome, was long displayed by the Smithsonian as the first plane ''capable'' of flight, diminishing the Kitty Hawk's status as a result. When Orville Wright decided to donate the Kitty Hawk to the Smithsonian, he insisted upon approving the label that would accompany its display, however, as Orville died in January 1948, that task fell to his estate, including his long-serving secretary Mabel Beck, who fought diligently for proper credit. The final, agreed-upon label that accompanies the plane is printed within this program:

''The Original Wright Brothers' Aeroplane

The world's first
power-driven heavier-than-air machine in which man
made free, controlled, and sustained flight

Invented and built by Wilbur and Orville Wright
Flown by them at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
December 17, 1903

By original scientific research the Wright Brothers
discovered the principles of human flight

As inventors, builders, and flyers
they further developed the aeroplane, taught man to fly
and opened the era of aviation''.

Although Mabel Beck was unhappy that the word ''capable'' was left off the label, and that the word ''further'' was included, history knows that the Smithsonian finally did, indeed, give proper credit to the Wright Brothers' historic invention. Program measures 7'' x 10'', with an original 7.25'' x 4'' photo of the Kitty Hawk included, stamped ''Photograph from the Smithsonian Institution'' on its verso. Photo was originally affixed to page 6 of the program, but has fallen off. Vertical fold to pages and light soiling, overall in very good to near fine condition.
Smithsonian Program From 1948 for ''The Presentation of the Wright Brothers' Aeroplane of 1903'' -- Very Rare, With Infamous Smithsonian ''Label'' Printed WithinSmithsonian Program From 1948 for ''The Presentation of the Wright Brothers' Aeroplane of 1903'' -- Very Rare, With Infamous Smithsonian ''Label'' Printed WithinSmithsonian Program From 1948 for ''The Presentation of the Wright Brothers' Aeroplane of 1903'' -- Very Rare, With Infamous Smithsonian ''Label'' Printed WithinSmithsonian Program From 1948 for ''The Presentation of the Wright Brothers' Aeroplane of 1903'' -- Very Rare, With Infamous Smithsonian ''Label'' Printed Within
Smithsonian Program From 1948 for ''The Presentation of the Wright Brothers' Aeroplane of 1903'' -- Very Rare, With Infamous Smithsonian ''Label'' Printed Within
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