The year the Wright brothers started their bicycle shop, a brand new “car” rolled into town. It was not very reliable, and broke down easily. But Orville was afraid that cars would overrule the bicycle and that Wilbur and he would have little business.But Wilbur wanted a bigger challenge. He thought that cars were silly and stupid and should have had no place in society. He remarked: “To try to build one that would be any account, you’d be tackling the impossible. Why, it would be easier to build a flying machine!” (Stephanie Sammartino McPhearson & Joseph Sammartino Gardner, 2004, p. 28)
The brothers were just like any two normal brothers, squabbling, dreaming about new things, and just being boys. They had a joint bank account, and neither cared what the other took out. Neither graduated from high school because they did not think it was worth making a long trip just to get a diploma.
Wilbur was 4 years older than Orville, and often called him “a kid brother.” He liked being an athlete and a gymnast, and his imagination was always running. He wanted greater challenges than the bicycle shop provided, and it was this that led to their adventure into the air.
Orville was shyer than Wilbur, but he was also a bit mischievous. He was the kind of person that just likes deals and business and entrepreneurship. He actually collected scrap metal and sold kites to his neighbors when very young.
They both loved being uncles, and loved their nieces and nephews. But Orville was closer to his sister Katharine and often wrote her letters. Wilbur was prone to depression and withdrew for several years after getting his face smashed at a hockey-type game. In conclusion, the Wrights were a pair of inventive and creative brothers whose work started one of the most important eras in the world.
McPhearson, Stephanie Sammartino, and Joseph Joseph Sammartino Gardner. Wilbur & Orville Wright: Taking Flight. Minneapolis: Lerner Publishing Group, 2004.