Pre-Wright activities have been so distorted by the lenses of chauvinism, of litigiousness (brought about, misguidedly, by the Wrights themselves), and by a certain mania for heaping glory upon the Wright brothers (our boys!) to the exclusion of all others, that no conclusive historical record any more exists. It is even a matter of debate whether Orville's first flight of December 17th, the one in the famous photograph, really ought to be called a flight, or whether the true first flight was the last one of that day, when the Flyer traveled 850 feet through the air, with Wilbur at the controls, remaining aloft and under control for a full minute. It doesn't matter. The Wright brothers — and Ader and Lilienthal and Whitehead and Maxim and Langley and the rest — were great pioneers. We owe gratitude and admiration to them all.