The New Aerial Ship
- Creation: 1843
Conditions Governing Use
Access to the Theodore Newton Vail Collection of Aeronautical Images, Broadsides and Clippings is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.
Biographical / Historical
In April 1841, William Samuel Henson patented a light-weight steam engine, and with fellow lacemaking-engineer John Stringfellow patented a steam-powered monoplane called the ""Henson Aerial Steam Carriage"" in 1843. Henson, Stringfellow, Frederick Marriott, and D.E. Colombine formed the Aerial Transit Company. To promote their vision of the future, publicist Frederick Marriott commissioned prints depicting Henson Aerial Steam Carriages flying above London, India, Egypt, China, and other world locations. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to fly models of the craft between 1844 and 1847. The project was eventually abandoned, the company dissolved, and Henson later emigrated to the United States where he patented several other inventions, including the safety razor.
Language of Materials
Existence and Location of Originals
Page from a newspaper describing William S. Henson’s design for a steam-powered airship. Accompanying illustrations: the airship flying over ships sailing through rough seas and the mechanics of the aerial ship.
Sources used for Biographical/Historical note
Crouch, Tom D., The Eagle Aloft, Two Centuries of the Balloon in America (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 1983), 330-331.
Hodgson, J.E., History of Aeronautics in Great Britain (Oxford University Press, London, 1924), 355-358.
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