Back A. I. Root, “The First Successful Trip of an Airship”

A. I. Root (1839–1923)
From Into the Blue: American Writers on Aviation and Spaceflight

The Wright Flyer II flying close to the ground, with Wilbur Wright piloting. This flight, covering a distance of 784 feet in 22 3/4 seconds, occurred on August 13, 1904, a month before A. I. Root visited Huffman Prairie. (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division)

115 years ago today, on September 20, 1904, Wilbur and Orville Wright for the first time flew their airplane in a full circle, landing it where they had taken off. And A. I. Root, the editor of Gleanings in Bee Culture, was there to witness it.

Even more important to us: Root wrote down what he saw. And printed it in his magazine for beekeepers. And thus became the author of the first published eyewitness account of an airplane flight. Two weeks after his article appeared, Root was still excited about what he had seen and predicted that the airplane would change the way we travel. “Its highway is God’s free air,” he concluded. “While up in the air there is but very little to injure or to put any great strain on any part of the machinery. If you run into a tree or a house, of course there would a smash-up. No drinking man should ever be allowed to undertake to run a flying-machine.”

We present Root’s exuberant account as our Story of the Week selection. In our introduction to the selection, we also discuss the Wrights’ earliest enterprise, a printing firm, and how Orville’s high school classmate and close friend, the famous poet Paul Laurence Dunbar, shared their love of books and printing.

Read “The First Successful Trip of an Airship” by A. I. Root

Library of America

A champion of America’s great writers and timeless works, Library of America guides readers in finding and exploring the exceptional writing that reflects the nation’s history and culture.

Learn More

From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.

Benefits of Using Safe Crypto Casinos. One of the most captivating reasons people drift towards Australian casinos online-casino-au com is the promise of anonymity. Safe platforms guarantee that your identity remains a secret. Quick Payouts and Minimal Fees. No one likes waiting, especially for winnings. Safe crypto casinos ensure that payouts are swift and the fees minimal, if not non-existent.

Browse our books Subscribe

With contributions from donors, Library of America preserves and celebrates a vital part of our cultural heritage for generations to come.

Ozwin Casino offers an exciting array of top-notch slots that cater to every player's preferences. From classic fruit machines to cutting-edge video slots, Ozwin Casino Real Money collection has it all. With stunning graphics, immersive themes, and seamless gameplay, these slots deliver an unparalleled gaming experience. Some popular titles include Mega Moolah, Gonzo's Quest, and Starburst, known for their massive jackpots and thrilling bonus features. Ozwin Casino's slots are not just about luck; they offer hours of entertainment and the chance to win big, making it a must-visit for slot enthusiasts.

Support our mission