Did you know that Orville Wright and his younger sister Katharine share the same birthday? They were both born in Dayton, Ohio, on August 19th: Orville in 1871 and Katharine in 1874.
Orville and Katharine would have shared many birthday dinners together, as they lived together most of their lives. Katharine took over many of the household duties after her mother died in 1889, taking care of her father and brothers. After Wilbur died in 1912 and their father Milton in 1917, Katharine remained with Orville, who never married, until her marriage in 1926.
In more than 50 years of life together, Orville and Katharine would have made many, many memories together, only a fraction of which were captured on film. But, in honor of their shared birthday, we thought it would be fun to share some photographs of Orville and Katharine together.
So here they are…
…riding in various forms of transportation (including an airplane, of course!)…
Marquis Edgard de Kergariou, Ernest Zens, Orville Wright, and Katharine Wright about to ascend in the hydrogen balloon Icare in France, 1909. (photo ms1_18_2_9)
Orville Wright (driving), Katharine Wright, and Harriet Silliman in the “St. Louis” automobile purchased by Charles Webbert through the Wright Cycle Company, 1903. (photo ms1_28_7_5)
Katharine Wright, wearing flying goggles, and Orville Wright sitting in a Wright Model H Flyer, 1914. (photo ms1_20_6_19)
Percy Mackaye, Vilhjalmur Stefansson, and Orville and Katharine Wright wave at the camera from the Wright Aeronautical Corporation flying boat the “Wilbur Wright,” 1922. (photo ms1_23_13_2)
Katharine and Orville Wright standing with a cabin boy on the deck of the German ocean liner “S. S. Kronprinzessin Cecilie” during their trip to Europe, 1909. (photo ms1_29_2_12)
…spending time together in Europe in 1909 (Wilbur was there too!)…
Orville and Katharine Wright feeding hay to oxen, 1909 (photo ms1_18_3_20)
Katharine and Orville Wright , along with others, walk across Tempelhof Field, Germany, 1909. (photo ms1_18_10_44)
Orville Wright waves a signal flag as (from left Charles S. Rolls, Katharine Wright, and Dr. Speakman stand nearby, in France, 1909. (photo ms1_18_3_11)
…meeting many important people, including kings and presidents (again, Wilbur was there too)…
President Taft, center, with Wilbur Wright (left) and Orville Wright and sister Katharine (right) and other important gentlemen, at the White House, June 10, 1909. From the Aero Club of America scrapbook, MS-1 Wright Brothers Collection.
Katharine Wright speaks to Alfonso XIII, King of Spain, as Orville Wright, Mrs. Hart O. Berg, and others stand nearby, 1909. (photo ms1_18_1_17)
German royalty with the Wrights: Crown Princess Cecilie, Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm, Orville Wright, Katharine Wright, and Captain Alfred Hildebrant at Tempelhof Field, Germany, 1909. (photo ms1_18_7_21)
…and (perhaps the best?) just relaxing with family and friends…
Group sitting and standing on the porch of the Wright Hawthorn Hill home, 1915. Left to right: Pliny Williamson, Katharine, Orville (standing), and Bishop Milton Wright, Earl N. Findley (standing), John R. McMahon, and Horace Wright. (photo ms1_26_5_5)
Party in the parlor of the Wright home at 7 Hawthorne Street, 1906. Top row, left to right: Dr. C. C. McClean, Mary Emmons, unidentified, unidentified, Mrs. McClean, and unidentified.. Bottom row: Orville Wright, unidentified, Nelson Emmons, Agnes Osborne, and Katharine Wright. (photo ms1_29_3_2)
Wright family picnic, 1915. Left to right: Orville Wright, Katharine Wright, Milton Wright, William Jenkins, James “Jim” Jenkins (standing); Horace “Bus” Wright, Lottie Andrews, Ivonette “Netta” Wright, and Lorin Wright. This image is attributed to Mayfield Photos, Inc., Dayton, Ohio. (photo ms1_29_2_1)
Group sitting on the lawn of the Wright Hawthorn Hill home, 1915. Left to right: Pliny Williamson, John R. McMahon, Orville, Bishop Milton, and Katharine Wright, Earl N. Findley, and Horace Wright. (photo ms1_26_5_7)
…and sometimes just spending time alone together, rocking the day away on the porch at Hawthorn Hill:
Orville and Katharine Wright sitting on porch at Hawthorn Hill, 1915. (photo ms1_26_5_11)
We’re thinking of you today, Orville and Katharine. Happy birthday!