Search unearths story of Wright factory seamstress

Theodore Clark of Beavercreek holds a photo of his first cousin twice removed, Wright Company employee Ida Holdgreve, at Wright State University Special Collections and Archives.

DAYTON, Ohio — An effort to gather the stories of Wright Company factory workers has uncovered information about one of the first women in the world to work in the aircraft industry.

Ida Holdgreve, born in Delphos, Ohio in 1881, worked as a seamstress for the Wright Company in Dayton from 1910 to about 1915, according to information provided by a distant cousin. She sewed the surfaces for the company’s wood-and-fabric airplanes. The job made Holdgreve a pioneer aircraft manufacturing worker in the first American factory built for the purpose of producing airplanes. She and her co-workers were the first Americans hired and trained for specialized aircraft manufacturing jobs.

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New book prompts search for Wright factory workers’ descendants

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DAYTON, Ohio — The National Aviation Heritage Alliance (NAHA) will use the launch of a new book about the Wright brothers to connect with descendants of the Wright Company’s factory workers.

NAHA is inviting descendants of men and women who worked in one of the two factory buildings to attend the launch of the new book by Timothy R. Gaffney, The Dayton Flight Factory, at Books and Co. at the Greene at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, July 2.

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National Air and Space Museum marks anniversary of first flight

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On Dec. 17, 2003, America looked back a century to celebrate the first successful flight of a powered airplane. Ten years after the Centennial of Flight, Orville and Wilbur Wright’s achievement at Kitty Hawk is still inspiring creativity and provoking discussion. In time for this year’s anniversary, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is focusing a spotlight on its updated exhibition, “The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age.”

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Ohio, NC legislators team to defend Wright brothers’ legacy

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DAYTON, Ohio and KILL DEVIL HILLS, N.C. — State legislators from Ohio and North Carolina held a rare joint news conference on Thursday, Oct. 24, to defend the legacy of the Wright brothers against a claim by the state of Connecticut.

Ohio State Rep. Richard Perales and North Carolina State Sen. Bill Cook, linked by a Skype connection on the Internet, spoke from historically significant locations in their home states to rebuke a law Connecticut passed earlier this year that claimed one of its residents, Gustave Whitehead, flew two years earlier than the Wright brothers.

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Ohio professor to fly 1,670 miles to fund scholarship

Ron Siwik

This spring, two Piper J3 Cubs will set out on a journey to the place where aviation began. It will be the first flight to Wright Brothers Airport via all of Ohio’s 88 counties and will honor the 75th anniversary of the airplane that taught nearly a half-million pilots to fly.

Joe Murray, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication (JMC) at Kent State University, will pilot a Piper J3 Cub while Ron Siwik, a former U.S. military flight surgeon who served in Vietnam, will join the flight piloting a second Piper Cub.

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