On this 84-acre meadow in 1904 and 1905, the Wright Brothers successfully mastered the mechanics of controlled, powered, heavier-than-air flight. The brothers also built the world’s first airport here, and in 1910 the Wright Company School of Aviation established a flying school on the site and trained many of the world’s first pilots, including some of the first military pilots, such as Thomas DeWitt Milling.
Opened July 9, 1904, this lift lock is the highest of its type in the world, transferring boats between two water levels in a single 19.8 m (65 ft.) lift. Designed in place of conventional locks, which would have lengthed the time considerably to transverse a gradual drop, this lift lock was a unique solution made feasible. It operates on a balance principle. Each boat chamber is supported by a ram, 2.28 m (7.5 ft.) In diameter. These move up and down inside water-filled cylinders connected by a pipe.