Patent for Wright Brothers’ Flying Machine Re-DiscoveredBreaking News
tags: Wright Brothers
36 years ago, the original patent for Wilbur and Orville Wright’s “Flying Machine” was lost in a paperwork shuffle. Now, it’s been re-discovered, securing the historic document once more for posterity.
A number of documents were transported from the National Archives, the depository for all important historical documents in the United States located in Washington, DC, to the nearby Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in 1978. The Wright brothers’ patent was among the documents which were supposed to be returned in 1980, but it never made it back to the National Archives. At first, it was suspected that the document had been stolen on behalf of a private collector, as the black market in historical items is brisk. However, with the National Archives large enough to contain more than 107,000 cubic feet of patent files alone, things can and often do go missing.
Apparently it took just one file clerk 36 years ago to mistakenly place the patent in the incorrect storage box, according to a press release from the National Archives announcing the document’s re-discovery. According to the Washington Post, the box in question had been moved to an off-site storage facility nicknamed the “cave” in Lexana, Kansas maintained by the National Archives, conjuring images of cavernous, dimly-lit underground warehouses lined with crates and boxes of priceless historical treasures. Whether the Ark of the Covenant was also stored in the same facility is unknown at this time.
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