With the hundredth anniversary of the Wright Brothers' history-making flight at Kitty Hawk, world attention is once again turning to these intrepid American inventors. Written by two of the world's leading experts on the Wrights, The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age will provide a definitive, richly illustrated look at the lives of the brothers and their world-changing invention. Wilbur and Orville were two eccentric owners of a bicycle shop in the heartland. but it was invention, engineering, and the new possibilities of manned flight that obsessed them. In just three years, they went from designing and flying a glider and creating a test wind tunnel to Wilbur's history-making moments in December 1903 above the dunes at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. In moving prose, Crouch and Jakab explain the Wrights' achievements and the moments of their great successes, and they paint a masterful personal portrait of the two sometimes erratic, genius personalities (never married, the brothers lived together all their lives), and, most important, the world of pioneering aviation in which they operated. Poignant archival photographs throughout the book capture that world, where ox carts and airplanes co-existed and where two determined presidents and kings celebrated brothers from Dayton. But the most poignant of all the images remains that of an airplane, almost kite-like in its simplicity, struggling skyward from the dunes at Kitty Hawk. Annotation. Written by two of the world's leading experts on the Wrights, this volume provides a definitive, richly illustrated look at the lives of the brothers and their world-changing invention. 110 photos. 984.