Cover image for Before the Wright brothers
Before the Wright brothers
Berliner, Don.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Minneapolis : Lerner Publications Co., [1990]

Physical Description:
72 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Describes the ideas and experiments that lead to the first powered flight by the 1903 "Wright Flyer."
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TL547 .B4179 1990 Juvenile Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Describes the ideas and experiments that lead to the first powered flight by the 1903 "Wright Flyer."

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-7. The Wright Brothers didn't learn how to fly out of thin air. Their designs were based on the work of a long line of unsuccessful predecessors, who Berliner discusses in this straightforward survey. Before the Wright Brothers there were men like Sir George Caley, who discovered how to achieve lift; Hiram Maxim, designer of the first vehicle able to lift off under its own power; and Smithsonian Institution secretary Samuel Langley, the last experimenter to attempt to fly before the Wright Brothers. Old drawings and photographs as well as diagrams of early flight machines and gliders support the text. Use this along with Richard Taylor's First Flight [BKL Ap 15 90] when students need good background material on the history of flight. --Denise Wilms

School Library Journal Review

Space launchings are becoming almost routine, but interest in all forms of flying persists. Here, Berliner fills in the background on the important, lesser-known experimenters who laid that foundation. (Bleriot of The Glorious Flight is not included.) After a brief introduction on early investigators such as the Chinese and Leonardo da Vinci, he begins with Sir George Cayley, who is considered to be the originator of the airplane, and continues with the many others who contributed to the field. Berliner writes clear, declarative sentences filled with the facts needed for reports. Every page has a well-drawn sketch or a clearly reproduced archival photograph, giving a period atmosphere to the book, but making it less attractive than Melvin Zisfein's more inclusive Flight: A Panorama of Aviation (Knopf, 1981) or the Smithsonian Book of Flight for Young People (Macmillan, 1988). An unexciting but handy source of information. --Sylvia S. Marantz, Wellington School, Columbus, OH (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.