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   The Wright Brothers' patent for their 1903 flying jalopy has gone missing, and the FBI is on the case because clearly that is the most pressing issue facing us today

12 Nov 2012 07:22 AM   |   2454 clicks   |   The Atlantic
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BronyMedic     
You do know that historical patent documents like this are worth millions in the hands of international art collectors and aviation historians,right submitter?

Or do you actually think that all the FBI does is chase down "terrorists", arrest people for downloading zero days on Bit Torrent, and investigate the extramarital affairs of the CIA director?

12 Nov 2012 06:41 AM
AverageAmericanGuy    [TotalFark]  
All the FBI does is chase down terrorists, arrest people for downloading on Bittorrent, and investigate government officials.

I'm sure they have time to do this, subby.

12 Nov 2012 07:27 AM
heypete     
The FBI is a pretty large organization and employs thousands of people. They're quite capable of investigating more than one crime at a time.

12 Nov 2012 07:27 AM
HighlanderRPI    [TotalFark]  
Did they check Craigslist & eBay?

12 Nov 2012 07:28 AM
Mangoose     

BronyMedic: You do know that historical patent documents like this are worth millions in the hands of international art collectors and aviation historians,right submitter?

Or do you actually think that all the FBI does is chase down "terrorists", arrest people for downloading zero days on Bit Torrent, and investigate the extramarital affairs of the CIA director?


I was actually going to say its refreshing to see the FBI take an interest in something that was terrorism or drugs

12 Nov 2012 07:29 AM
BronyMedic     

AverageAmericanGuy: All the FBI does is chase down terrorists, arrest people for downloading on Bittorrent, and investigate government officials.

I'm sure they have time to do this, subby.


*shakes tiny interweb fist at!*

12 Nov 2012 07:33 AM
Mincer     
Have they questioned this guy yet?

whatculture.comView Full Size

12 Nov 2012 07:33 AM
czei     
I can save the FBI some time: it sureas he'll isn't in North Carolina.

/grew up around West 35 in Dayton

12 Nov 2012 07:33 AM
LeoffDaGrate     
The first US airplane in history is a "Jalopy." Right...

12 Nov 2012 07:34 AM
LordOfThePings     
Mitchell Yockelson, an investigative archivist for the National Archives Recovery Team

Yeah, he's with the FBI.

12 Nov 2012 07:34 AM
Milo Minderbinder     
First of all, the looting of our National Archives is a tragedy. Do you want our history available for everyone to enjoy, or hidden away by rich misers?

Second, are you really arguing that the FBI should only be working on "the most pressing issue" whatever that is, and ignoring everything else? The whole Bureau for 1 crime? Are you really bad at hyperbole, or just not very bright to begin with?

/Don't answer that second one

12 Nov 2012 07:35 AM
sidcart42     
It's so strange how anytime anyone is concerned with anything not related to cancer or poverty or starvation, everyone else has to stop what they're doing.

Can Fark develop some kind of meme to shame submitters into an appreciation for how complex the world is? I like to think of them attempting a puzzle, and stopping at the first piece they pick up, infuriated that it doesn't show what's on the box.

12 Nov 2012 07:36 AM
edmo    [TotalFark]  
Just another link in the keep-Petraeus-from-testifying conspiracy.

12 Nov 2012 07:38 AM
mrsirjojo     
By all means, let's rank those things in order of importance subby. And then, all FBI resources should be put on #1 until it is resolved, then they should work on the new #1 ad infinitude.

See "Still no cure for cancer" for similar idiotic thinking.

12 Nov 2012 07:38 AM
BronyMedic     

sidcart42: It's so strange how anytime anyone is concerned with anything not related to cancer or poverty or starvation, everyone else has to stop what they're doing.

Can Fark develop some kind of meme to shame submitters into an appreciation for how complex the world is? I like to think of them attempting a puzzle, and stopping at the first piece they pick up, infuriated that it doesn't show what's on the box.


Sadly when this happens, they often go crying to the mods and get themselves and anyone arguing with them a 24 hour time out for trolling and threadjacking. So, the simple answer is no.

Unless you want to "donate" to Drew's liquor stockpile, that is. :)

12 Nov 2012 07:39 AM
Mr.Tangent     

heypete: The FBI is a pretty large organization and employs thousands of people. They're quite capable of investigating more than one crime at a time.


Keep believing what the liberal media is feeding you, this is just another distraction from Benghazi...

Ok, ok, I can't keep a straight face. bahahahahaha

12 Nov 2012 07:43 AM
Sybarite    [TotalFark]  

12 Nov 2012 07:45 AM
Tat'dGreaser     

LordOfThePings: Mitchell Yockelson, an investigative archivist for the National Archives Recovery Team

Yeah, he's with the FBI.


Yep, federal agent doesn't automatically mean FBI

12 Nov 2012 07:47 AM
Deep Contact     
flying machine.
go.sky.comView Full Size

12 Nov 2012 07:47 AM
Hofheim     

WorkingInParadise: Patent theft? Wanted for questioning:


came for this.. leaving satisfied.

12 Nov 2012 07:47 AM
rufus-t-firefly     
I'll throw in the Nirvana fallacy.

"The FBI can't solve every crime, so why bother with this one?"

12 Nov 2012 07:50 AM
Onkel Buck     
i226.photobucket.comView Full Size

A clue!

12 Nov 2012 07:50 AM
Milo Minderbinder     

Sybarite: That's an interesting list of missing stuff.


Wow, a copy of FDR's Infamy speech, arguably the most important presidential address of the 20th century. I'd rather have the FBI look for that then catfight emails over "Balls Deep" Patraeus.

12 Nov 2012 07:51 AM
Abe Vigoda's Ghost    [TotalFark]  
Apple probably acquired it.
Expect all the major aircraft manufacturers to be sued shortly.

12 Nov 2012 07:52 AM
Boxcutta     
Your headline is bad and you should feel bad, Submitter.

/it was Top Grunge

12 Nov 2012 07:55 AM
LarryDan43     

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: Apple probably acquired it.
Expect all the major aircraft manufacturers to be sued shortly.


This

12 Nov 2012 07:58 AM
ubermensch     
The FBI aren't involved, jerkassubmitter. Learn to read.

12 Nov 2012 08:02 AM
grokca    [TotalFark]  

ubermensch: The FBI aren't involved, jerkassubmitter. Learn to read.


That's because

AverageAmericanGuy: All the FBI does is chase down terrorists, arrest people for downloading on Bittorrent, and investigate government officials.


12 Nov 2012 08:09 AM
ajeoae     
*looks at patent photo*

Wow, they were so specific back then. In today's patent market they could have just went for "flight capable thingy with rounded corners"

12 Nov 2012 08:17 AM
Kinek     
Oooooh. OOOOOOOOOH. I get to drag out this gem, because Patents are involved. And the Wright brothers.

In 1906 the Wrights received a patent for their method of flight control which they fiercely defended for years afterward, suing foreign and domestic aviators and companies, especially another U.S. aviation pioneer, Glenn Curtiss, in an attempt to collect licensing fees. Their legal threats suppressed development of the U.S. aviation industry for several years. Letters that Wilbur Wright wrote to Octave Chanute in January 1910 offer a glimpse into the Wrights' feeling about their proprietary work: "It is not disputed that every person who is using this system today owes it to us and to us alone. The French aviators freely admit it."[4] In another letter Wilbur said: "It is our view that morally the world owes its almost universal use of our system of lateral control entirely to us. It is also our opinion that legally it owes it to us."[5]
The patent war stalled the development of the American aviation industry. In response, after the beginning of World War I, the U.S. Government pressured its aviation industry to form an organization that allowed the sharing of aviation patents.

Just thought I'd leave that there for the usual patent deepthroaters.

12 Nov 2012 08:20 AM
Harry Freakstorm     
Dear Boeing,

As current holder for the Patent "Powered Flight using Wings and Stuff" You are in violation of of Federal Law. My many lawyers would like to talk to you about your ongoing production of fixed winged aircraft and how that violates my copyright.

Just fill one of your hangars with $100 bills and leave the keys down the street at the Waffle House. Wanda (tall white Wanda, not Fat (black or white) Wanda) will hold the keys for me. Just tell her they're for the "RV".

Do this and you can get back to making airplanes. If not, the lawyers will deploy to your Chicago HQ. There will be some many of 'em, you won't even be able to get air in to the building. You know, filling a hangar full of cash will be a lot cheaper than losing a coupe of days of production fighting a lawsuit.

Harry Freakstorm
I didn't invent flight. I just figured out how to make a hangar full of money off of it.

12 Nov 2012 08:23 AM
Katolu     
Dipmitter...The FBI has more than high-profile cases. Movies /= real life.

12 Nov 2012 08:24 AM
jeffowl     

WorkingInParadise: Patent theft? Wanted for questioning:
[www.findthatlogo.com image 200x200]


Interesting that you bring Apple up. The Wright Brothers were very secretive about their inventions, while others in the field were sharing technology freely, including sharing with the Wrights. The key Wright Brother's patent, having to do with warping the wings to provide aerodynamic control was made obsolete by the invention of the aileron only a few years later. (Actually most of the Wright's "key" technologies were obsolete before the end of the decade.) That didn't stop them from trying to apply their patent to ALL methods for controlling flight. In fact, their patent contains several phrases similar to "this should not be construed to limit the applicability of this patent to the implementation described herein." They sued just about everyone who was trying to build an airplane for sale or exhibition (for profit) for the next 15 years. They did have some success in the courts, convincing judges that their overly broad wording in their patent was legitimate. This had a bit of a dampening effect on innovation in aviation for a while, but they were not ultimately successful in securing a monopoly on heavier than air flying machines. In the end, WWI blew the industry wide open.

Also note that just before the Wright's demonstration in Kittyhawk, a guy named Langley was all set to do a demonstration of a catapult launched airplane from a barge on the Patomic. The catapult had a mechanical failure and the aircraft was damaged on launch and failed to attain controlled flight. That wouldn't be worth mentioning except that this guy had demonstrated numerous pilot-less airplanes over the prior years. Some had actually traveled further than the wright's aircraft did on it's maiden voyage. It is reasonable to believe that this one had a decent chance at success. I only bring this up to highlight that the Wrights were not the only ones working on this at the time.

12 Nov 2012 08:26 AM
Kinek     

jeffowl: WorkingInParadise: Patent theft? Wanted for questioning:
[www.findthatlogo.com image 200x200]

Interesting that you bring Apple up. The Wright Brothers were very secretive about their inventions, while others in the field were sharing technology freely, including sharing with the Wrights. The key Wright Brother's patent, having to do with warping the wings to provide aerodynamic control was made obsolete by the invention of the aileron only a few years later. (Actually most of the Wright's "key" technologies were obsolete before the end of the decade.) That didn't stop them from trying to apply their patent to ALL methods for controlling flight. In fact, their patent contains several phrases similar to "this should not be construed to limit the applicability of this patent to the implementation described herein." They sued just about everyone who was trying to build an airplane for sale or exhibition (for profit) for the next 15 years. They did have some success in the courts, convincing judges that their overly broad wording in their patent was legitimate. This had a bit of a dampening effect on innovation in aviation for a while, but they were not ultimately successful in securing a monopoly on heavier than air flying machines. In the end, WWI blew the industry wide open.

Also note that just before the Wright's demonstration in Kittyhawk, a guy named Langley was all set to do a demonstration of a catapult launched airplane from a barge on the Patomic. The catapult had a mechanical failure and the aircraft was damaged on launch and failed to attain controlled flight. That wouldn't be worth mentioning except that this guy had demonstrated numerous pilot-less airplanes over the prior years. Some had actually traveled further than the wright's aircraft did on it's maiden voyage. It is reasonable to believe that this one had a decent chance at success. I only bring this up to highlight that the Wrights were not the only ones working on this at the time.


Largely due to the fact that the government got tired of their shiat and made them pool patents so they could actually build planes and innovate.

Lesson here is don't piss off the government.

12 Nov 2012 08:29 AM
The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves     
This is bad news... for Obama Teddy Roosevelt

12 Nov 2012 08:31 AM
Marcintosh     
I must be chronically late today.
Showed up to unload on Subby -
That's been taken care of too.

Thanks everyone for taking care of my light work.
'preciate it.
M.

0/2

12 Nov 2012 08:48 AM
sdd2000     

Kinek: jeffowl: WorkingInParadise: Patent theft? Wanted for questioning:
[www.findthatlogo.com image 200x200]

Interesting that you bring Apple up. The Wright Brothers were very secretive about their inventions, while others in the field were sharing technology freely, including sharing with the Wrights. The key Wright Brother's patent, having to do with warping the wings to provide aerodynamic control was made obsolete by the invention of the aileron only a few years later. (Actually most of the Wright's "key" technologies were obsolete before the end of the decade.) That didn't stop them from trying to apply their patent to ALL methods for controlling flight. In fact, their patent contains several phrases similar to "this should not be construed to limit the applicability of this patent to the implementation described herein." They sued just about everyone who was trying to build an airplane for sale or exhibition (for profit) for the next 15 years. They did have some success in the courts, convincing judges that their overly broad wording in their patent was legitimate. This had a bit of a dampening effect on innovation in aviation for a while, but they were not ultimately successful in securing a monopoly on heavier than air flying machines. In the end, WWI blew the industry wide open.

Also note that just before the Wright's demonstration in Kittyhawk, a guy named Langley was all set to do a demonstration of a catapult launched airplane from a barge on the Patomic. The catapult had a mechanical failure and the aircraft was damaged on launch and failed to attain controlled flight. That wouldn't be worth mentioning except that this guy had demonstrated numerous pilot-less airplanes over the prior years. Some had actually traveled further than the wright's aircraft did on it's maiden voyage. It is reasonable to believe that this one had a decent chance at success. I only bring this up to highlight that the Wrights were not the only ones working on this at the ...


It had more to do with the fact that patents then as now have a limited life and after the patent expires anyone is free to make , use or sell a device that the patent would read on.

12 Nov 2012 08:52 AM
RickN99     
So, the entire agency should only work on the single most pressing issue? Since theft from the National Archives will never be the most pressing issue then it should never be investigated? If only there was some way to have part of the agency work on one thing and a second part work on another and a third part work on.....

Nah, that's just crazy talk.

12 Nov 2012 08:52 AM
Theaetetus     

ajeoae: *looks at patent photo*

Wow, they were so specific back then. In today's patent market they could have just went for "flight capable thingy with rounded corners"


Back then, too... Here's Design Patent #1, claiming ornamented "double small pica" or 21-point type.

12 Nov 2012 08:56 AM
Kinek     

sdd2000: Kinek: jeffowl: WorkingInParadise: Patent theft? Wanted for questioning:
[www.findthatlogo.com image 200x200]

Interesting that you bring Apple up. The Wright Brothers were very secretive about their inventions, while others in the field were sharing technology freely, including sharing with the Wrights. The key Wright Brother's patent, having to do with warping the wings to provide aerodynamic control was made obsolete by the invention of the aileron only a few years later. (Actually most of the Wright's "key" technologies were obsolete before the end of the decade.) That didn't stop them from trying to apply their patent to ALL methods for controlling flight. In fact, their patent contains several phrases similar to "this should not be construed to limit the applicability of this patent to the implementation described herein." They sued just about everyone who was trying to build an airplane for sale or exhibition (for profit) for the next 15 years. They did have some success in the courts, convincing judges that their overly broad wording in their patent was legitimate. This had a bit of a dampening effect on innovation in aviation for a while, but they were not ultimately successful in securing a monopoly on heavier than air flying machines. In the end, WWI blew the industry wide open.

Also note that just before the Wright's demonstration in Kittyhawk, a guy named Langley was all set to do a demonstration of a catapult launched airplane from a barge on the Patomic. The catapult had a mechanical failure and the aircraft was damaged on launch and failed to attain controlled flight. That wouldn't be worth mentioning except that this guy had demonstrated numerous pilot-less airplanes over the prior years. Some had actually traveled further than the wright's aircraft did on it's maiden voyage. It is reasonable to believe that this one had a decent chance at success. I only bring this up to highlight that the Wrights were not the only ones working on this ...


Except that when the pool was formed, the patent had not yet expired. So no. That's wrong. Try again.

12 Nov 2012 08:58 AM
bucket_pup     
Check this guy's pants -
i1180.photobucket.comView Full Size

12 Nov 2012 09:02 AM
ThisIsntMe     

Mangoose: BronyMedic: You do know that historical patent documents like this are worth millions in the hands of international art collectors and aviation historians,right submitter?

Or do you actually think that all the FBI does is chase down "terrorists", arrest people for downloading zero days on Bit Torrent, and investigate the extramarital affairs of the CIA director?

I was actually going to say its refreshing to see the FBI take an interest in something that was terrorism or drugs


CSB
I wanted to be in the FBI when I grew up. Until I watched agents having to dig up a septic tank looking for a typewrighter. And ......it wasn't there.

I decided I would just sell ponies to orphan bulimia patients with necrosis instead.

12 Nov 2012 09:04 AM
Tarmangani     
The document was returned to the Archives in 1979, and somebody there remembers laying eyes on it in 1980... When curators began planning a commemoration of the Centennial of Flight, in 2003, the patent file had vanished.

(a)They've been looking for it for 9 years and haven't made a big deal about its absence it before?
(b)Before that, the last time anybody cared to even look at it was 32 years ago?

Yes, that is obviously regarded as absolutely priceless.

12 Nov 2012 09:04 AM
LordOfThePings     
Have they looked behind the fridge? Sometimes stuff falls down back there.

12 Nov 2012 09:12 AM
one0nine     
Wow, BOTH target maps for the atomic attacks are missing, as is the 44th BG's post-action report on Ploesti. Might start the search in Japan for the first two; as to the Ploesti report, I wonder if it somehow wound up over at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton?

12 Nov 2012 09:25 AM
meatsack_01     

Tarmangani: The document was returned to the Archives in 1979, and somebody there remembers laying eyes on it in 1980... When curators began planning a commemoration of the Centennial of Flight, in 2003, the patent file had vanished.

(a)They've been looking for it for 9 years and haven't made a big deal about its absence it before?
(b)Before that, the last time anybody cared to even look at it was 32 years ago?

Yes, that is obviously regarded as absolutely priceless.


Just because you have no personal interest in history doesn't mean that history isn't important or in this case valuable.

Go back to your video game son.

12 Nov 2012 09:25 AM
Tarmangani     

meatsack_01: Tarmangani: The document was returned to the Archives in 1979, and somebody there remembers laying eyes on it in 1980... When curators began planning a commemoration of the Centennial of Flight, in 2003, the patent file had vanished.

(a)They've been looking for it for 9 years and haven't made a big deal about its absence it before?
(b)Before that, the last time anybody cared to even look at it was 32 years ago?

Yes, that is obviously regarded as absolutely priceless.

Just because you have no personal interest in history doesn't mean that history isn't important or in this case valuable.

Go back to your video game son.


Oh, make no mistake, friend. I do have a personal interest in history, but I don't think the knuckleheads who lost this (and didn't care enough to even notice) share that interest.
I didn't say it wasn't priceless, I said it wasn't regarded as priceless.

12 Nov 2012 10:01 AM
p51d007    [TotalFark]  
Uh Oh....Apple will patent the airplane, and sue everyone that ever flew on one LOL.

12 Nov 2012 10:10 AM
kd8our     
They were among the first, of many, patent trolls. They ended up either pissing off or pissing on almost anyone involved with aircraft once they got their patent. Even apple would be proud. They even went as far as pissing off long time friends like Chanute who was more than happy to be open about designs and research. In addition he was among their first contacts and supporters. Thus why they really aren't mentioned in aircraft R&D much after 1910, also didn't help that Wilbur died from typhoid that he contracted on a trip, that involved patent lawsuits. His brother gave up and lived out the rest of his life, while being promoters of their invention. One also has to remember the wright flyer was not in the Smithsonian until after Orville died, I think it was added in 1948. They were also involved in a pissing match with with Sam Langley, who was also a pioneer in aviation and who was director of the Smithsonian for some time. He also claimed to have invented the first airplane, if he just made a few modifications that is.

The one thing they actually did is provide a good theory and correct information on aircraft wings. Correct data tables and almost all the modern math for wings. They also came up with the first controllable aircraft as a result and produced efficient propellers in addition to the wings. Many many people were very close to having an aircraft. However none of those craft were very good and lacked either efficiency, power or control. The Wright's NEVER get mentioned for inventing the wind tunnel. That is what gave them the advantage and the prize. As a child the fact that they came up with that device and then built the plane was more impressive. Also It is one of the first exhibits about the Wrights I can recall. 

/if Dayton has to be famous for technology then you have 3 things. Airplanes, Car starters and lots of Ham Radio.

12 Nov 2012 10:55 AM
DownDaRiver     

Deep Contact: flying machine.


Flying machine?
An old girlfriend of mine had one of those in her nightstand next to the bed.

12 Nov 2012 02:21 PM
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