Jacques Panis, president of Shinola, stood in front of an authentic replica of the Wright Flyer I at the Henry Ford Museum near Detroit on Monday evening to unveil The Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch and Bicycle. In a tribute to the innovation and ingenuity of the founding fathers of aviation, the limited editions are the first pieces in the Great Americans Series, which is dedicated to American visionaries and industrial pioneers.
To mark the occasion, Amanda Wright Lane, Orville’s and Wilbur’s great grand-niece, presented Panis with an original piece of wing cloth from the plane that made the first flight at Kill Devil Hills, N.C., 110 years ago. He promptly offered the artifact to Edsel Ford for the museum. The venue could not have been more fitting given that Henry Ford had convinced his friend Orville Wright to donate his childhood home and bicycle shop to the Henry Ford Museum, which was inaugurated in 1929 with Wright and other luminaries in attendance.