Thursday, July 10, 2008

Vision and the Wrights

The following is from an article I read in the Fall of 2003.

It is difficult to imagine the incredible changes that lay before the world
100 years ago at the outset of human flight. A taste of that time and of the
mental gymnastics through which it took a man’s mind were recorded in, of all
places, a beekeeping magazine. In the January 1, 1905, issue of Gleanings of Bee
Culture, Amos Root gave his account of the startling sight of an airplane in
“When it first turned that circle and came near the starting point, I
was right in front of it; and I said then, and I believe still, it was one of
the grandest sights, if not the grandest sight, of my life. Imagine a locomotive
that has left its track, and it is climbing up in the air right toward you—a
locomotive without any wheels, we will say, but with white wings instead. . . .
Well, now imagine that locomotive, with wings that spread 20 feet each way,
coming right toward you with a tremendous flap of its propellers, and you will
have something like what I saw. . . . I tell you friends, the sensation that one
feels in such a crisis is something hard to describe” (reported in Air &
Space/Smithsonian, March 2003).
Today, a century after those preliminary
flights of the Wright brothers’ Wright Flyer, the sight of an airplane hardly
turns a head. A dream that might have been dismissed over the millennia with the
assertion that “if God had meant man to fly, He would have given him wings,” has
become our commonplace reality.

From: "A Wright Mind", Vision Magazine, Fall - 2003

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