Brazilians have long snubbed their noses at the Wright Brothers. As far as they’re concerned, the first human being to take to the skies in a plane was Alberto Santos Dumont, who in 1906 completed the first nonassisted flight in his plane, which he baptized 14-Bis.
Flying machines aside, Santos Dumont was an avid builder and inventor. He designed the gracious house known as Casa de Santos Dumont (Rua do Encanto 22, tel. 24/2247-3158, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun., R$3). Aside from his personal effects, the house displays various other inventions, among them an alcohol-heated shower and a bed that can be transformed into a desk.