An effort to gather the stories of Wright Company factory workers has uncovered information about one of the first women in the world to work in the aircraft industry.
Ida Holdgreve, born in Delphos, Ohio in 1881, worked as a seamstress for the Wright Company in Dayton from 1910 to about 1915, according to information provided by a distant cousin. She sewed the surfaces for the company’s wood-and-fabric airplanes.
The job made Holdgreve a pioneer aircraft manufacturing worker in the first American factory built for the purpose of producing airplanes. She and her co-workers were the first Americans hired and trained for specialized aircraft manufacturing jobs.
Wright State University’s online collection of Wright Company images includes a photo of Holdgreve sewing at a large table in a corner of the factory. It’s a popular image in books and blogs about the Wright brothers. But information about her was lost for decades. Read NAHA’s news release for more about the rediscovery of Ida Holdgreve.