In a drawer in a file box in the U.S. Patent Office in Washington, D.C., is a study in black ink on white paper, lines that resemble those images most of us have of the first Wright Bros. flyer, usually dubbed “Kittyhawk” after the place it first took to the air.
The patent was issued on May 22, 1906, to Orville Wright, Patent No. 821393, for a “flying machine.”
It makes more sense if you turn the drawing on its side.
Why did it take three years to get the patent issued?
Below the fold, the rest of the patent.
Unlike most patents, these drawings were accompanied by seven pages of text describing how the machine works. Most inventions of that era required much less text. The Wrights were quite thorough, perhaps understanding better than many others the commercial value of the patent they were claiming.
[Editor note: For six years this sat with an error in the headline, and no one noticed? ]