Wright Brothers Benches in the Dayton area

Last Sunday, I attended one of the Woodland Days tours at historic Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio. (I might write more about the tour in general another time.)

One of the first things the tour guide pointed out to us was a sculpture of a bench with two bowler hats on top of it, honoring the Wright Brothers (on the main road near the chapel):

Wright Brothers Bench, Woodland Cemetery

Wright Brothers Bench, Woodland Cemetery (Photo by Matt Rickey, 7 Oct. 2012, used with permission)

The tour guide proceeded to tell us that there were several of the benches around Dayton: five, she thought.  I mumbled to my husband that I thought there were nine, in fact. (These mental–and sometimes whispered–“well, actually”s continued intermittently throughout the rest of the tour, as a matter of fact. I don’t mean to be critical, but as a local archivist and reference librarian, I happen to know a lot about Dayton’s history. So when I heard misinformation, it bugged me a little…)

After we got home, I double-checked, and sure enough, there are nine Wright Brothers benches in the Dayton area, according to the Ohio Outdoor Sculpture Inventory.

According to said inventory, the benches are located at the following places:

  1. Carillon Historical Park;
  2. Dave Hall Plaza;
  3. Dayton International Airport;
  4. Engineers Club of Dayton;
  5. Medal of Honor Park at Wright Patterson Air Force Museum;
  6. the U.S Air Force Museum;
  7. Woodland Cemetery;
  8. Wright Brothers Airport; and
  9. Wright State University.

I have only personally seen four of these, so it’s theoretically possible that the inventory list has the number wrong, and maybe our tour guide was correct. (For instance, I’m wondering: Are there actually two at the Air Force Museum?) I have looked for the one (or two, apparently) at the Air Force Museum before but didn’t see it; then again, I didn’t realize it was out in the park. I thought it would be just outside the lobby or something.

The benches were created by artist David E. Black and dedicated in 1996.

For funsies, here are photos from my personal collection of the benches I have seen (in addition to the one at Woodland, shown above):

Wright Brothers Bench, Wright State University

Wright Brothers Bench, Wright State University (photo by the author, July 2003)

The bench at Wright State was the first one I ever saw. I imagine I first laid eyes on it sometime in the Fall of 2001, when I was a freshman at WSU…

Wright Brothers Bench, Engineers Club

Wright Brothers Bench, Engineers Club (photo by the author, 7 June 2012)

Here’s the one at the Engineers’ Club on Monument Avenue, so you can see the context in which the bench is situated. (Honestly, do you really want to see several close-ups of these identical benches?)

I have seen the Carillon Park bench, but apparently I did not snap a picture of it. Darn.

If you search for “Wright Brothers Bench” on Flickr, there are several pictures of them… Since I don’t have photos of my own to show you of the other ones, let’s see if I can find them on Flickr and link…..

Once again, with gusto:

  1. Carillon Historical Park;
  2. Dave Hall Plaza;
  3. Dayton International Airport;
  4. Engineers Club of Dayton (or see above);
  5. Medal of Honor Park at Wright Patterson Air Force Museum;
  6. the U.S Air Force Museum;
  7. Woodland Cemetery (or see above or see this other one of mine);
  8. Wright Brothers Airport; and
  9. Wright State University (or see above).

Huh…well. That was kind of a let-down, actually.

Guess I will just have to hunt down the ones I haven’t found yet and photograph them.🙂

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