December 17th was a historic day for America. About 109 years ago, in the year 1903, John Thomas Daniels Jr. shot the iconic photograph of the Wright brothers’s first flight. History remembers Daniels as an “amateur photographer,” a man who was so excited to see the Wright Flyer fly for the first time, that he almost forgot to squeeze the bulb of the Gundlach Korona 5×7-inch glass plate view camera, which was owned by Wright brothers.
But as noted by PetaPixel, the notion that Daniels was an amateur photographer is really an understatement. That’s because Daniels had never seen a camera before December 17th, 1903. During that day, Orville Wright gave instructions to Daniel on how to trigger the camera’s shutter by squeezing the shutter release bulb. Fortunately, Daniel did exactly what Orville told him to do and captured the Wright Flyer’s ascent at precisely the right moment. Daniels died in 1948, just a day after Orville Wright’s passing.