Lost in storage

The story from the Washington Post was reminiscent of a scene from the “National Treasure” adventure movies.

You probably saw the piece — turns out that the National Archives lost the original patent paperwork from Dayton’s own Wright brothers, filed in 1903 for a “flying machine” — the very one that a few months later they actually got up and soaring at Kitty Hawk.

And it was found … in a cave! The patent was apparently misplaced back in 1980 or so, and its absence was noted in 2000. The reason? Millions of pieces of paper at the National Archives; stuff gets misplaced. A “sleuthing archivist” found the patent on March 22, according to the Post, “in a special records storage cave in Lenexa, Kan., where it was sent at some point.”

Several remarkable things come to mind: The patent is back! Sleuthing still matters. And … the National Archives has a thing called “storage caves.” Wow.

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