Wilbur Wright to Octave Chanute

Dayton, December 6, 1909

We are all home again after a rather strenuous summer and autumn. Orville and my sister had a splendid time in Germany, and Orville returned much stronger in every way than when he went away. I finished the work at Washington just as they returned. Since then we have been working very hard on the organization of our business and the preparation of our case in the suit against Curtiss & Herring. The affidavit filed by Mr. Herring is thoroughly characteristic of him. He has suddenly discovered that he invented in 1894 the method of controlling lateral balance by setting surfaces to different angles of incidence on the right and left sides of the machine and correcting the difference in their resistances by means of an adjustable vertical tail.

We have closed out our American business to the Wright Company, of which the stockholders are Messrs. C. Vanderbilt, Collier, Belmont, Alger, Berwind, Ryan, Gould, Shonts, Freedman, Nicoll & Plant. We received a very satisfactory cash payment, forty percent of the stock, and are to receive a royalty on every machine built, in addition. The general supervision of the business will be in our hands though a general manager will be secured to directly have charge. We will devote most of our time to experimental work.

All of us are in very good health. Father, though in his eighty-second year, is still quite active. My own health, owing to the outdoor life of the past year, is better than in former years. I trust that you retain well your strength and enjoyment of life.

Octave Chanute to Wilbur Wright, December 23, 1909