WILBUR WRIGHT (1867-1912) SIGNED FULL SIGNATURE AS PREDIDENT ON THE WRIGHT COMPANY LETTERHEAD, “Wilbur Wright”, 7.75 x 3.25, Dec 6, 1911, the exceptionally rare full signature has been cut from the bottom of a typed letter and reapplied on this top of a letter head for The Wright Company/Harriman Bank Building/527 FIFTH AVENUE/New York. We can only imagine the content of what this collector threw away from this letter. At the top right is printed FACTORY: DAYTON, O. On the upper left is a printed list of the company officials: Wilbur Wright, PRESIDENT/ Orville Wright, Vice President and three other officials. It is addressed to Mr. William J. Hammer,153 West 46th Street, New York City, from the elder brother of Orville Wright, with whom he developed the world’s first successful airplane. On December 17, 1903, the brothers succeeded in making the first free, controlled-flight of a power-driven airplane. The brothers were also the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-winged powered flight possible. Wilbur Wright would die of typhoid fever in 1912. This historically rare full signature is in fine condition with minor age toning, and is mounted on an acid-free backing card.
William J. Hammer (1858-1934) was American inventor & prolific collector who, in 1879, went to work as an assistant at Thomas Edison’s Menlo Park laboratory. He assisted in a variety of experiments but his primary responsibility was to keep records of Edison’s incandescent lighting experiments. He gained Edison’s trust and gradually earned more responsibility. He eventually became chief engineer of Edison’s electrical lighting utilities in Germany and England. While working for Edison he patented several of his inventions. In 1890 he left Edison to become a consulting electrical engineer and independent inventor. In the early 20th century he experimented with X-rays and worked with Pierre & Marie Curie to find new applications for radium. He also worked along side the Wright Brothers and Glenn Curtis, as a pioneering, first generation aviator.