Dayton Sights: Wright Brothers Benches

It wasn’t luck that made them fly; it was hard work and common sense; they put their whole heart and soul and all their energy into an idea and they had the faith.” – David McCullough, The Wright Brothers

There are reportedly nine identical benches sculpted by David Evans Black, located all around the Dayton area. On the edge of the seat on the front, it reads, “Dedicated to the immortal spirit of Daytonians Orville and Wilbur Wright…” and continues on the back seat-edge with, “whose gift of powered flight lifted our world forever skyward.” The bench is designed to be reminiscent of the bench shown in the famous photograph of the Wright brothers’ first flight.

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Of the nine locations listed by the Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Center, we were only able to locate five of them:

  1. Carillon Park
  2. Engineer’s Club of Dayton
  3. Woodland Cemetery
  4. Wright State University
  5. Dave Hall Plaza

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The other four benches are listed as being at the following locations, but we were unable to locate them:

  1. Two at the National Museum of the US Air Force – Bethany spoke to the staff and volunteers at the museum, and nobody had any recollection of the benches.
  2. Dayton International Airport
  3. Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport

Black also designed the Flyover sculpture in the median of Main Street, just north of 5th Street. The design is a representation of the Wright Brother’s 120 feet, 12 second flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17th, 1903.

Has anyone seen any of these benches at any locations other than where we found them? We would love to locate all nine of them!

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