June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


312

Wright Brothers, Prop Shaft Oilers Used on Wright Flyers, Plus Grease Cups

Lot of 13, including: 1 prop shaft oiler, 4 in. long, (marked with red tape) actually used by the Wright Brothers on the 1904 and 1905 Flyers. The Wright Brothers knew after the flights of the Flyer I that there would be an overheating problem for longer flights. These oilers were drip dependent and were produced by the Lunkenheimer Co. in Cincinnati, OH; 9 brass pieces, which were sections of radiator tubing used on the planes, each 1 in. long. Overheating on the planes was always a problem. Note how tight the fitting was made with an inside opening at .3125 in.; and 3 grease cups used on the Curtiss "Jenny" and the DeHaviland DH-4 during World War I, each 1.5 in. long. Christman worked with Dayton Wright Aeroplane, concerning himself with the enclosing of aeroplanes. It is not likely that any of these were incorporated into the Flyers prior to the onset of hostilities in Europe, as no mention of them has been found to date. 

Louis P. Christman (1893-1972)

As an employee of National Cash Register, with his experience in aircraft and machine design, Louis P. Christman was called upon by prominent engineer and inventor, Colonel Edward Deeds, to undertake the restoration of the 1905 Wright Flyer, which resides at Carillon Park, Dayton, Ohio. Christman was given the opportunity to work closely with Orville Wright in order to produce an accurate set of drawings, or blueprints, for the 1900, 1901, and 1902 gliders as well as the 1903, 1904, and 1905 Wright Flyers. Since no complete drawings were ever produced by Orville and Wilbur Wright during the building and flying of the planes, it was required that Christman travel to Washington, D.C. to the Smithsonian Institution to take measurements and make drawings from the original 1903 Flyer that is displayed there and to discuss these drawings with Orville Wright.

Continued meetings and conversations between Orville Wright and Christman resulted in a very refined set of drawings of the three planes and their engines – drawings that were quite satisfactory to Orville Wright. Christman, under the direction of Colonel Edward Deeds, then began the restoration of the 1905 Flyer in 1947, on the grounds of the National Cash Register Co. This project involved not only incorporating as many original parts as could be obtained, but the designing and machining of matching parts in order to complete the aeroplane. This restoration project took Christman approximately 19 months, from the drawing stage to the completion of the frame. Final construction and assembly was completed at Carillon Historical Park, where the plane was reassembled and fabric was stretched.

Christman’s drawings are well documented in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum. Knowledgeable men and women who have produced models and full-sized planes since 1948 have relied most exclusively on the “Christman Drawings.” The Smithsonian Institution has recently produced framed copies of Christman’s three view plate, with consideration in print concerning the works of Christman. The work that Christman did for Orville Wright, Dayton Wright Aeroplane, Charles F. Kettering, Inland Manufacturing, NCR Corp., Colonel Deeds, and Carillon Park is of considerable historical importance and interest.

Lots 308-319 represent a portion of items given to Christman for his work in restoring the 1905 Wright Flyer, and they have descended directly in his family.

Provenance:Descended in the Family of Louis P. Christman

Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$240
06/21/2013

 

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