Friday, 30 August 2013

up, up and away

Aerial Locomotion

When working on an enquiry I found a very interesting item, dated 1891. It is the complete specification on Improvements in Aerial Locomotion by a Miss Clara Louisa Wells, who was residing at Pompei, Italy at that time.

Her invention “consists in the establishment of regular lines, for aerial locomotion, with stations, for the entrance and exit of passengers, or for the placing and removal of baggage, with a similar system to that used on the funicular railroads ; the aerial vehicles or balloons being attached by cable cords to rings, very much larger than the lines over which they are able to run and these rings to be protected, and the whole maintained in place, by an iron tube, grooved and open at the top, sufficiently to allow the balloon-cords free course to run, with the rings, over the enclosed cable-line.”

She goes on to say that with using this system that it will do the work “now performed, often with atrocious suffering, from over-weight, and the ever-scourging whip – by draught animals.”

She maintains that “Nor would it be difficult for private of individual balloons to add a joining branch to the more public lines, so that, a nobleman may enter his velvet-lined, balloon-car, at his very own door.”

It is titled No. 15,850 A.D. 1890 complete specification….and can be found at the shelfmark GPA.2.