Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright

Chicago, December 21, 1905

I have yours of 19th inst. In view of your unwillingness to prepare yourself a statement to be presented by a member (as is usual) to the Am. Ass'n for Advancement of Science, and of the injunction of Mr. Lahm, who is the dean of the pilots of the French Aero Club, "to avoid publicity," I have concluded to make no statement. It never occurred to me that such a statement should cover a description of your machine and methods.

I had a call from Mr. Herring this morning, who said that he was hunting up exhibits for the Aero Club of America, to be displayed in New York, Jan. 13th to 29th. He made the assertion that you had written to somebody that your screws were 8 feet in diameter and that your motor was placed on the bed of your machine. He added that the motor had 4 cylinders of 4 inch bore, and that the total weight was 950 pounds, some 70 pounds of this being iron bars which were shifted during flight. He did not remember from whom he had the information. I return Archdeacon's squib. As I read it I burst into such laughter that one of my daughters was alarmed and ran up to find out what was the matter. I could only gasp: "It is because Archdeacon is such an ass!"

Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, December 21, 1905