November 7 – First Air Freight Shipment

In modern life, freight is regularly shipped via planes.  However, like most of our modern conviences, it was not always this easy to send things across the country.  It all started with the Wright Brothers and a short flight from Dayton, Ohio to Columbus, Ohio to deliver two bolts of silk.  This historic flight took place on November 7, 1910.  Just seven years after their first flight off of Kitty Hawk, they sent Philip Parmalee on about a 65 mile trip.  In the seven years, they had created another model of their first aircraft.  The Wright Model B aircraft.  Far different from their first flight that only lasted twelve seconds, this flight took around 71 minutes.  The idea to ship items came from Max Morehouse.  He engaged the Wright brothers to fly a bolt of ribbon from a Dayton store to his store in Columbus.  In just seven years, the Wright brothers had made significant improvements in their planes, which made this flight possible.  The Model B had been significantly redesigned so that it was stronger, easier to control, easier to launch, and slightly faster than the Model A.  Even with the improvements and the early idea of such a use for airplanes, it was still a relatively expensive option.  Not to mention, it would take several years until airplanes could handle larger cargo loads.  Today, shipping items via airplane is quick and efficient.  Go to any major airport, and you will see at least one shipping company with a large warehouse for shipping products around the world.  As incredible as it must have seemed to those in the Wright brother’s time, in less than a century, airplanes became one of the most relied upon forms of transporting goods.  And it all started with a short flight from Dayton to Columbus to deliver two bolts of fabric.

Sources:

http://www.wright-brothers.org/Information_Desk/Just_the_Facts/Airplanes/Model_B.htm

https://www.ohiohistory.org/learn/collections/history/history-blog/2015-(1)/august-2015/first-air-cargo-shipment

https://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/wright-brothers/online/age/1910/commercial.cfm

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