There is a myth-conception that some interior walls define the Wright shop. Painstaking research by Matthew Yanney has shown the building began its life as the Nicholas Block in 1894 and that two structures — the home of the former owners and a wooden building that may have served as the Wright’s shop in 1892 — were razed to make way for its construction. There’s nothing left of the original wooden building.
There is also a question of whether the brothers were here at all. The only record is a remark that Orville made to Henry Ford in 1937 at the dedication of the reconstructed Wright shop and home at Greenfield Village. The advertisements in the Dayton papers from the early 1890s put the Wrights at 1015 W. Third St.; nothing ties them to 1005 W. Third St. Orville may have misspoke or his words were recorded incorrectly.
Furthermore, whether it was 1005 or 1015 W. Third, nothing occurred there of any historical importance. The Wright brothers sold other people’s bicycles at their first shop. It’s nothing like, say, 1127 W. Third St. — their fourth or fifth location — where the Wright brothers decided to investigate the possibility that man could fly, where they designed and built experimental kites, gliders and Flyers, including the first aircraft with three-axis control (1902), the first airplane to make a sustained and controlled flight (1903), the first practical airplane (1905), the first commercial airplane (1907), or the first military airplane (1909). This is the spot where aviation began, an endeavor which affects directly or indirectly every aspect of our 21st century lives.
What makes this reaction to the razing of the Gem City Ice Cream building so preposterous is not just its dubious historical value, but that a location two blocks away with infinitely more value is marked with a plaque and some grass. Wouldn’t the effort be better expended to create something meaningful at a place where something meaningful happened?
- Nick Engler, Director Wright Brothers Aeroplane Company
Honest online sellers shouldn’t have to pay for retail crime. Our state legislators are currently considering legislation that would penalize online sellers for the nationwide wave of organized retail theft we saw Thanksgiving weekend. In a misguided attempt to address in-store thefts and prevent the sale of counterfeit or stolen goods, Senate Bill 184 and House Bill 272 would require online sellers, who make 200 or more transactions in Ohio a year, to make their personal information and home address available. As a small business owner who makes an honest living online, this concerns me greatly and not only threatens my privacy, but also my livelihood. This policy would put online sellers like me at risk of bad actors, such as disgruntled customers and online thieves, who might use our personal information to commit fraud, steal our identities and threaten violence. We should not be forced to choose between safety and providing for our families. Loss prevention is a big-box retail problem that overreaching mandates for small business and honest online sellers won’t solve. Tell your local legislator to vote no on SB 184 and HB 272.
- Bryce Lee, Westerville