Wright brothers gold medal from Académie des Sports

Did you know the Wright brothers received a gold medal?

Less than five years after their historic first flight the Wright brothers’ reputation had spread not only across the United States but also across the world. On October 16, 1908 the French Académie des Sports awarded them a gold medal with the inscription, “To the conquerors of the air, M. M. Wilbur and Orville Wright, the first to fly with an apparatus heavier-than-air driven by a motor.”

The recognition of the Académie des Sports acknowledged the historic engineering achievement for which the brothers are best known, but also highlights another remarkable thing about them. Orville and Wilbur Wright were international travelers and businessmen. They traveled extensively in Europe receiving awards and performing demonstrations, but they were also sounding out markets and pioneering a business with international reach. Quite simply, they were doing things few others were.

The Wright brothers were in effect sewing the seeds of the international travel and global markets that today we take for granted. Their work and travel both as inventors and as businessmen foreshadowed the business and travel models of today, while at the same time their airplanes were laying the very foundation that would propel it forward. It’s an incredible legacy. And, it’s why our luggage collection is so well suited for today’s international traveler who, like the Wright brothers, wants to be first.

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