Perhaps no two people in history exemplify the spirit of invention better than brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright. Born in the Midwest in the late 1800s, Orville was exceptionally good at creating mechanical devices, and Wilbur had a genius for ideas. The turn of the 20th century came during an age of invention and technological development. Inspired by a fierce worldwide competition to be the first to invent a machine that could fly and be controlled by a pilot, the Wright brothers tested and refined several prototypes. At last, on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, they achieved their pioneering flight. The brothers went on to develop machines and controls that made possible powered, fixed-wing flights and laid the foundation for pilot-controlled aviation as we know it today. They also founded the Wright Company, which built airplanes for the rising new industry of commercial aviation. Had Wilbur not died at the early age of 45, who knows what else the innovative pair might have accomplished.