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The Wright Cycle Company Complex, Dayton

4.7
#5 of 10 in Museums in Dayton
Specialty Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
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The bicycle business of the Wright brothers, the Wright Cycle Company (originally the Wright Cycle Exchange) successively occupied five different locations in Dayton, Ohio. Orville and Wilbur Wright began their bicycle repair, rental and sales business in 1892, while continuing to operate a print shop (they ended their local newspaper business in 1890). In 1896 they began manufacturing and selling bicycles of their own design, the Van Cleve and St. Claire, named after their ancestors. They invented the self-oiling hub and the innovation of machining the crankarm and pedal on the left side of the bike with left-hand threads to prevent the pedal from coming unscrewed while cycling. The brick building at 22 South Williams St., where the Wrights worked from 1895 to 1897, is the only extant building on its original foundation and in its original location that housed a Wright bicycle shop. They ran their printing shop on the second-floor. The 22 South Williams Street building is part of Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park and the National Aviation Heritage Area.The Wrights used the profits from the Wright Cycle Company to finance their aviation experiments. In 1901 they fitted a third bicycle wheel horizontally above the front wheel of one of their St. Claire bicycles and used the apparatus as a test platform to study airfoil design. They built a six-foot wind tunnel on the second floor of their bicycle shop at 1127 West Third St., the last location of their bicycle business, and from October to December they conducted pioneering tests in the tunnel of over 200 shapes of scale-model wings.
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The Wright Cycle Company Complex reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
262 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • The Interpretive Center is a jewel. We had a volunteer take us over to the bicycle shop, which we enjoyed. This is definitely worth a visit. 
    The Interpretive Center is a jewel. We had a volunteer take us over to the bicycle shop, which we enjoyed. This is definitely worth a visit.  more »
  • We had no idea that that the Wright Brothers did most of the real work of discovering Aviation and building an entire industry in their hometown of Dayton OH. This step into the past to get a full... 
    We had no idea that that the Wright Brothers did most of the real work of discovering Aviation and building an entire industry in their hometown of Dayton OH. This step into the past to get a full...  more »
Google
  • National park with free entrance. Ranger was really helpful and informative to explain about the history and the shop. Great addition to the heritage museum with a real mid 18th century building ( shop ). Give yourself a time of 30 mins to take a look at the shop and how they worked on with a single belt driven equipment. Interesting facts to know how the bicycle parts were used up to invent airplane. And the rest is history !!!
  • Essential place to visit to understand the origins of flight. Genius of the wright brothers developed over a period of time

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