However, they could be highly demanding and critical of each other, occasionally disagreeing to a point where they would shout. Often, they would be just as far apart in their views/perspective an hour after their shouting match, but by then they had taken each other's position. Neither brother had a yearning for the limelight, and did their best to avoid attention. For all practical purposes, Wilbur and Orville were "unidentical twins"; Wilbur was the more serious by nature, and remembered almost everything he saw, heard, and read. Orville's powers-of-concentration were immense, so much so that he largely lived in a world of his own.
What the two brothers had in common above all else was unity of purpose and unyielding determination; they were both on a never-ending mission. In early-1899, Orville started a newspaper (he was still in high school) with his father's permission. A year later, both brothers published a money-making newspaper called "The Evening Item"; the business was Orville's, and he enjoyed it the most, working as hard as he could - Orville actually found Wilbur's performance in the newspaper business to be lacking. (Pictured: Wilbur and Orville on their front porch at home in Dayton, OH)
In the spring of 1893, the Wright Brothers opened their small bicycle business; of the two, Orville loved bicycles the most. Competition was stout among bicycle businesses, and while Orville thrived, Wilbur wasn't experiencing the same level of fulfillment or joy. In 1895, the Wright Brothers started making their own model bicycles, available for order. The "Van Cleve" (pictured) sold for $60 (an attention-getting $1725 today); a second, less-expensive model called the "St. Clair" was introduced shortly thereafter. The Wright Brothers earned between $2000 and $3000 per year ($56k - $84k today).
On 30 May 1899, Wilbur wrote the Smithsonian Institute, requesting all the information they had on flight. Books and pamphlets were sent to Wilbur, among them items by Samuel Pierpont Langley. Langley was an astronomer and a secretary of the Smithsonian, and was among the most respected scientists in America. In 1896, Langley flew a pilotless "Aerodrome" (pictured: a painting of the "Aerodrome" glider), launched by catapult on high ground by the Potomac River. The "Aerodrome" flew for about half-a-mile, and then crashed into the river. Among those trying to create a flying machine at the same time as Langley was Sir Hiram Maxim (famous for the modern machine gun); Maxim spent $100k of his own in his venture. Also, Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison were researching air machines, as were inventors/innovators in France, where the word "avion" (airplane) was added to the French language.
Wilbur's study of birds in flight showed that birds adjusted their wings (e.g. tips), creating balance and equilibrium. For Wilbur, that meant shifting weight on the glider was out, and finding ways to manipulate air was in. Orville calculated that Lilienthal had only spent 5 total hours in the air; the Wright Brothers would test and fly many more hours to develop both their knowledge and skill. Orville, using cardboard wings, showed Wilbur how the top &/or bottom wings could be "warped" in order to manipulate the air, which would mean their glider could even bank-and-turn, just like birds. "Wing Warping" (a.k.a. "Wing Twisting") was an original advancement in aviation developed by the Wright Brothers.
On 13 May 1900, Wilbur wrote Octave Chanute, the famous French flight researcher, asking for advice on where to conduct flying experiments without rain or bad weather, yet with sufficient wind. Chanute suggested South Carolina or Georgia, where the sand dunes on the beaches would aid with landing. Based on that advice, plus mounds of meteorological data from the U.S. Weather Service, the Wright Brothers chose Kitty Hawk (NC) on the Outer Banks, for the steady winds and sandy & soft beaches . . . and the isolation for the Wright Brothers to work in privacy.
In the final weeks of 1900, the Wright Brothers had built a full-size glider that could be taken apart and reassembled. The wingspan of their first glider at Kitty Hawk measured 18 feet, and cost $15, but still needed long spruce spars which were unattainable in Dayton, but the Wright Brothers hoped they would be able to find in the East Coast. The Wright Brothers also brought a box camera and a tripod, as well as all the necessary tools needed for the glider and camp. By this point, the Wright Brothers had made (and were making) enough money from their bicycle business so they could spend extended time in the Outer Banks . . .