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The Great Aerial Navigator, or Atmospheric Machine! Under the superintendence of the ?Aerial Conveyance Company,? for the conveying of passengers, troops and government despatches to India and China, in the short space of five days, by means of a new improved system of ?aerial navigation? adapted also to proceed on water or land, and can be used as a most destructive instrument of war .?
Vickers. 1843 - Single sheet folio broadside with central woodcut illus. beneath title. Approx. 37.5 x 50cm. Mounted on cream card. v.g. Not in the BM print collection, not recorded on Copac or OCLC. A wonderful broadside satirising the Victorian fixation with air travel and the remarkable if implausible designs for accomplishing success; this one, by an anonymous ?inventor?, is accompanied with a key explaining ?the most extraordinary invention of modern times? It includes a mechanical eagle with smoke released through its mouth, a telegraph, parachutes, a boat ?in the Chinese style?, and eight paddles that act as fans whilst in the air or actual paddles when in water. The explanatory text is concluded with a letter from the inventor to ?Her Majesty?s Ministers?: ?Placed at the head of a great nation, I call on you to avail yourselves of my invention, which I will prove to you, if adopted, all of the nations of the earth combined can never stand against our power. But, my Lords, I do not mention that fact, with the view of making my country the tyrant of the world, but for the more noble purpose of causing her to be the arbiter of every good? After the first flight of a hot air-balloon in 1783 a great swathe of wonderfully implausible designs for air travel emerged. Robertson?s Minerva, designed in 1804, was intended to carry sixty people and up to 150,000 pounds in weight. In 1843 William Samuel Henson created the Aerial Transit Company which patented the aerial steam carriage, a significant and pioneering move towards powered flight. The inventor of the Aerial Navigator ingeniously combined both steam and balloon power with the additional bonus of being capable of both land and sea travel.
      [Bookseller: Jarndyce, The 19th Century Booksellers]
Last Found On: 2016-01-31           Check availability:      AbeBooks    

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