Dayton, city (2020 pop. 137,644), seat of Montgomery co., SW Ohio, on the Great Miami River where it is joined by the Stillwater River; inc. 1805. It is the trade center for a fertile farm area, but is best known for its involvement with industry, invention, and aviation. Its chief products are computers; machinery; metal, paper, and rubber products; and transportation equipment. Printing and publishing are also important. Dayton grew with the extension of canals (1830s and 40s) and railroads (1850s), and with the industrial demands of the Civil War. It was the first large city to adopt (1913) the city-manager form of government (see city government). It was the home of the Wright brothers, who after their pioneering 1903 flight set up a research operation. Much of their work is preserved in the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (see National Parks and Monuments, tablenational parks and monuments, table). Also in the park is the home of their friend the poet Paul Laurence Dunbar. Dayton's life for decades before the 1990s was dominated by the National Cash Register company, which built many civic amenities. The city's institutions include Wright State Univ., the Univ. of Dayton, and a noted art institute. Nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is a major employer.

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