Reference Blog Entries

Girls Flew Too

Laura's picture

Several weeks ago I wrote about Wilbur and Orville Wright and the first controlled, piloted, flight of a heavier-than-air machine at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  I was inspired by the new book by David McCullough called The Wright Brothers.

Image - Ivonette Wright Miller

The Wright brothers’ story stands alone in terms of drama and interesting characters.  But I would be remiss if I did not also point out the stories of three of the female members of the Wright family as well. 

In 1911, a few years after the Wright brothers made their famous flight their three nieces asked if they could take a ride.  The youngest niece, Ivonette Wright (Miller) (1803-2007) wrote a first-person account of her ride called Girls Flew Too. It is excerpted from the book Wright Reminiscences and has been digitized along with other primary sources and a wealth of family photographs on Wright State University’s website. 

Another female family member who was central to the lives of the two men and to their success was their younger sister, Katharine (1874-1929).  The New York Times (May 31, 1912) said that “The only other person who entered the close fellowship of the brothers was their sister Katharine.”  When Wilbur died of typhoid in May 1912, his sister Katharine was at his side caring for him.  When Orville was seriously injured in a plane crash in Florida, his sister Katharine left her teaching job to nurse him back to health.  Katharine supported her brothers during their early setbacks. She managed the bicycle shop when they were away testing prototypes.  She provided the money needed to build a Wright Flyer to exhibit in France. The brothers asked her to be there when King Alfonso XIII of Spain honored them. She went to Europe with them and became their spokesperson, interpreter, social manager and the first “air woman”.  For some time she held the world record for experience as a passenger, although Mrs. Hart O. Berg was the first woman to ascend. 

Her story is told in two excellent children’s books; one, a biography titled The Wright Sister  by Richard Maurer and, the second, a picture book titled  My Brothers’ Flying Machine by Jane Yolen. 

The third member of the family that should be mentioned here is Susan Katherine Koerner Wright (1831-1889), the mother of Wilbur and Orville.  Both parents encouraged their children to pursue intellectual interests, but Susan Wright had a knack for making mechanical things which she learned in her father’s carriage shop as a girl and passed along to her children. Orville once said “We were lucky enough to grow up in an environment where there was always much encouragement to children to pursue intellectual interests; to investigate whatever aroused curiosity. In a different kind of environment, our curiosity might have been nipped long before it could have borne fruit.”

Katharine Wright - Book CoverKatharine Wright - Book Cover - 2Wright Brothers Book Cover - McCullough

Celebrity Chefs - Test Your Knowledge!

Laura's picture

Image - Smiling ChefWhether we are “foodies” or not, many of us recognize the celebrity chefs of our era.  They are known to us from several types of media: Julia Child and Jacques Pepin from public television; James Beard, Craig Claiborne and Mark Bittman from the New York Times; Mario Batali, Ina Garten, Rachel Ray, Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay, and Alton Brown, from cable television; Marcus Samuelsson and Ruth Reichel from their published memoirs; and Alice Waters, Anthony Bourdain and Nigella Lawson from their cookbooks, just to name a few.

How well do you know these celebrity chefs?  Can you answer the trivia questions below?   The answers can be found in the Upper Arlington Library’s “menu” of databases or at the bottom of this screen.

  1. Who is given credit for being the original celebrity chef (hint: he pre-dates Julia Child by one hundred and fifty years)?
  2. What celebrity chef is given credit for popularizing the white chef’s hat called the toque blanche?
  3. What is the name of an early French celebrity chef who, around the turn of the twentieth century bottled and then sold his own pickles and sauces?
  4. What actor portrayed Julia Child in the Oscar-nominated 2009 movie titled Julia and Julie?
  5. Iron Chef America was patterned after a similar television competition named Iron Chef in which of the following countries?
    1. Mexico
    2. Japan
    3. England
  6. The Food Network, which has been responsible for creating many celebrity chefs, debuted in which of the following years?
    1. 1993
    2. 1985
    3. 2000
  7. A New York reporter described this celebrity chef on October 25, 1998 as follows: “his blunt, cabbylike style–not to mention his exuberant use of all things buttery and fattening—has won him adulation more familiar to a rock star than a gourmet”.  What specialist in the Creole cuisine of New Orleans was this reporter referring to?
  8. Which celebrity chef, who asked for an Easy-Bake oven as a child and went on to win the coveted James Beard Rising Star Chef of the Year award before he was thirty, is known for being controversial?  After winning an early Iron Chef competition he offended a competitor by jumping up on the cooking counter and standing on his cutting board with his arms raised in victory.  (Hint: one of his television shows was titled Boy Meets Grill.) 
  9. What is the name of the British celebrity chef, a contemporary of Julia Child, whose show ran from the 1950s to the 1970s in Britain.
  10. The term “celebrity chefs” was coined in the 1970s by a popular hour-long radio show called CBS Monitor.  True or False?

Cover Image - St. James Encyclopedia of Popular CultureLogo - Gale Biography in ContextLogo - Food and Drink in American History

  1. Antonin Careme
  2. Paul Escoffier
  3. Paul Escoffier
  4. Meryl Streep
  5. Japan
  6. 1993
  7. Emeril Lagasse
  8. Bobby Flay
  9. Fanny Craddock
  10. True

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