Will the ‘real’ First Flight Photo please stand up?

You’re probably already familiar with the following photograph…

First Flight photo (ms1_16_2_10)

First Flight photo, December 17, 1903 (ms1_16_2_10)

Arguably one of the most famous photographs in the world, the above photo is widely recognizable as “the” First Flight photograph. Its silhouette has even become the logo of Wright State University and adorns all official university stationery.

But did you know that we have several prints — all slightly different — of “the” first flight photo? All of the prints depict the exact same instant in time (i.e. are from the same original glass plate negative, which is held by the Library of Congress), because there was only time for John T. Daniels to capture a single image during the 12-second flight that changed history.

Even so, the “other” First Flight photos can be seen in the gallery below. Click on an image to view a larger version of it. (The number underneath is the photo’s unique identifier number, for cataloging purposes. As you might imagine, that number becomes even more important for distinguishing one photo from another when you have 15 so similar!)

As you can see, some of the prints have been cropped differently, their tone and contrast vary, and some (such as #7) are even damaged.

Photo #10 (seen at the top of this post) seems to be the one most often chosen for publications, but perhaps one of the others is your favorite.

You can view all photos from December 17, 1903, including these and more, on CORE Scholar.

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Winter Break Closure, Dec. 24-Jan. 1

Special Collections & Archives will be closed for the duration of Wright State University’s holiday closure period: December 24, 2014-January 1, 2015.

We will re-open again on Friday, January 2, 2015, on our “break hours” schedule. Our break hours—the hours we are open when school is not in session—are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

When we are on break hours, we are not open on Sundays or on Wednesday nights. We will resume Sunday and Wednesday night hours effective the first day of spring semester. Therefore, our first Wednesday night will be January 14, and our first Sunday will be January 18. (We are, however, closed on Monday, January 19, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.)

Don’t forget, we are also closed this Friday, December 19, for our annual staff planning retreat.

For a complete picture of our upcoming hours (or to check hours for a particular day), please visit the University Libraries’ online Calendar of Hours & Events and make sure you’ve selected “Special Collections & Archives” on the left-hand menu under “Hours.”

Don’t forget: even during our closings, our web site (including collection guides), blogs, and digital collections on CORE Scholar are available 24/7/365.

We apologize for any inconvenience and wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season!

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Archives Closed on Dec. 19

Special Collections & Archives will be closed on Friday, December 19, for our annual staff planning retreat.

We will reopen on Monday, December 22, at 8:30 a.m. We will be open our regular hours (8:30-5:00) on Monday, December 22, and Tuesday, December 23. We will be closed December 24 through January 1 for the university’s winter break.

We apologize for any inconvenience these closings may cause. Please remember that even during our closings, our web site (including collection guides), blogs, and digital collections on CORE Scholar are available 24/7/365.

For a complete picture of our upcoming hours (or to check hours for a particular day), please visit the University Libraries’ online Calendar of Hours & Events and make sure you’ve selected “Special Collections & Archives” on the left-hand menu under “Hours.”

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