Edward J. Roach

Edward J. Roach is a historian at Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park in Ohio.

Listed in: Ohio and Regional · Business and Economics

The Wright Company · From Invention to Industry
By Edward J. Roach

Fresh from successful flights before royalty in Europe, and soon after thrilling hundreds of thousands of people by flying around the Statue of Liberty, in the fall of 1909 Wilbur and Orville Wright decided the time was right to begin manufacturing their airplanes for sale. Backed by Wall Street tycoons, including August Belmont, Cornelius Vanderbilt III, and Andrew Freedman, the brothers formed the Wright Company.

“[Roach] closes a major gap in our understanding of the brothers, drawing on an untapped cache of corporate records and the scattered papers of business associates to produce a history of the Wright Company set in the larger context of American business, labor, urban, and industrial history. His book is a fresh, honest, and well-researched view of Wilbur and Orville’s experience as the president and vice president of the Wright Company, respectively, detailing the rise and fall of a firm that in different hands might have dominated an infant industry.”

Business History Review