On December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers were the first to fly in a powered and controlled aircraft. Previous flights were lighter than air vehicles, gliders (control but no power) or free flight (power but no control), but the Wright brothers combined both, setting the new standard in aviation records.
There have been many booms and busts in the aviation industry. The earliest known aviation stock certificate for a company that actually made a flying airship called the Novelty Air Ship Company in 1888. The Novelty Air Ship Company manufactured the vehicle for Professor Peter C. Campbell who was the inventor. Unfortunately, the air ship was lost at sea in 1889 while being test flown by Professor Hogan during an exhibition flight.