When Leonardo da Vinci first theorized flying machines, it must’ve felt like a fantasy to everyone around him had they known of his dreams to take man into the sky. Hundreds of years later Wilbur and Orville Wright were able to take Leonardo da Vinci‘s dreams and turn them into reality when they finally invented the first airplane in the early 1900s.

This would eventually change the way everyone travels and would change human history equally. During the height of their popularity, the brothers' plane came to Battle Creek in 1911. Although we have photographic evidence that the Wright Brothers' biplane visited Battle Creek in 1911 on the Fourth of July, it is not known whether or not they themselves were present.

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Regardless, this must’ve been an incredible site to witness for Battle Creek residents. It started July 3rd with Leonard Bonney who was a member of the Wright Exhibition Team and was taught by Orville Wright himself in 1910 at the Wright Flying School.

The exhibition was said to have been an unbelievable sight as the biplane that was flown by Bonney flew all the way up to 2,000 feet and the plane itself could climb 200 feet per second. Even for its time, that's one powerful plane.

It's not often you get to be one of the first people to witness a brand-new idea or invention that changes the world for the first time, so years later the people who came to the exhibition must have felt a sense of pride knowing they were witnessing history.

Wright Brothers Plane Visit Battle Creek in 1911

Gallery Credit: COURTESY FRANCES THORNTON COLLECTION