May is National Bike Month. Take a look at some of the items featured in the Wright Cycle Co. located in Dayton's Wright-Dunbar neighborhood.

9 things you need to see at the world-famous Wright Cycle Co.

The Wright brothers ran their bicycle shop out of this building in the late 1800s, as they began the work that would lead to manned flight.

The historic building, at 16 South Williams St. in Dayton, is now part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (there's plenty to see there, too). 

To help celebrate National Bike Month in May, we visited the shop to get a look at the most impressive things to see there.

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Beautiful structure

According to information provided by the National Park Service, Orville and Wilbur Wright began looking for a new challenge after several years in the printing business and turned to the popularity of the safety bicycle. Both were avid riders, and Orville even took up racing as the brothers began repairing their friends' bicycles. In 1892 they opened their own shop in West Dayton. Over the years the shop moved to different locations. They used the profits to finance their aviation experiments.

Showroom

According to the National Park Service, "in the spring of 1895, Wilbur and Orville Wright moved their printing and bicycle shops under one roof in the Wright Cycle Company. Here the brothers concentrated on designing and building their own custom make of bicycles. They devised a gas engine to power their tools, mastered welding, built chain drives, brakes, and hubs - all crucial skills used to build the world's first airplane."

Where the work happened

Things to see at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio

The Wright brothers handcrafted bicycles as well as made repairs in the workshop of the Wright Cycle Co. in Dayton's Wright-Dunbar district. They sold the bicycles in the showroom portion of the shop.

They rode what?

Things to see at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio

The Wright Cycle Co. has a display of historic bicycles as well as other bicycle-related accessories and memorabilia.

Lighting the way

Things to see at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio

A bicycle lantern from the 1890s is from a women's Van Cleve bicycle purchased from the Wright Cycle Co. shop in 1895.

Their own designs

Things to see at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio

A reproduction of the Wright Van Cleve bicycle is on display at the Wright Cycle Co. The brothers manufactured and sold two bicycles of their own design, the Van Cleve and St. Clair.

Who could ride without a cyclists' cup?

Things to see at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio

A drinking cup along with other bicycle accessories typical of the era are on display.

Tinkering tools

Things to see at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio

Tools used to tune-up or repair early bicycles are on display.

Views of the past

Things to see at the Wright Cycle Company in Dayton, Ohio

View a display of historic bicycle-related photographs at the Wright Cycle Co. in Dayton's Wright-Dunbar district.

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