Notice: Undefined index: DATABASE_SERVER in /home/c3yxf4pauoh2/public_html/.grid_compat.php on line 3
aeronautics Archives - History's Newsstand Blog : History's Newsstand Blog

Some comic relief should be found in every collection… Early parachute attempt in 1785…

November 13, 2023 by · Leave a Comment 

There seems to be a preponderance of tragic, dismal events that dominate our collections. After all, they tend to be very historic and life-altering. Think of all the “great” wars, various assassinations, the Titanic, Lusitania, & Hindenburg, and so much more.
So the occasional report with comic overtones can be refreshing. I recently wrote up an issue of the London Chronicle, July 14, 1785, with American content, but it also contains on the back page a very early parachute demonstration that went awry.
The report concerning a man who scheduled a parachute demonstration at the Blanchard Aerostatic Academy in England, planning to: “…let himself down from a prodigious altitude, and to manifest his composure by playing on a violin during his descent. To fulfill these promises, the ingenious operator had provided machinery, by which he might have been raised about 45 feet!
When the time arrived, he, with his Cremona [high-quality violin], entered the vehicle, and was raised with infinite precaution…”.
Okay, read the article to see how it plays out.

Snapshot 1909… The American Spirit takes flight…

November 1, 2021 by · Leave a Comment 

It is easy to assume the 1903 “first flight” in Kitty Hawk instantly made Wilbur and Orville Wright household names, but the truth is this momentous event was ignored by many newspapers, and even when it did appear the coverage was minimal and often buried on an inside page. Sadly, this trend continued for several years, with the newspapers in France being a notable exception. However, continued progress with their experiments in flight, coupled with the setting of one record after another, eventually led to them receiving the recognition they deserved. Although a hair more than 5 years after their historic flight in Kitty Hawk, the January 2, 1909 Scientific American, published shortly after the Wright brothers won the first-ever Michelin Cup, included one of the most eloquent tributes of the era – words which embody what was once meant by “The American Spirit”, and continue to stand tall as a recipe for meaningful achievement.

Snapshot 1858… A French flying machine…

August 13, 2019 by · Leave a Comment 

The following snapshot comes from The National Intelligencer, dated August 7, 1858. It’s a shame those in the article below this snapshot didn’t have access to such an invention.

The Traveler… taking important steps…

March 16, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

Today I traveled to Detroit, Michigan, by the way of The Detroit News dated March 18, 1965. There I found “Russian Takes First Space Walk From Blog-3-16-2015-Selma-MarchOrbiting Ship”. This was the very first time that anyone had ever taken a walk in space, going sixteen-feet from the capsule.

Also on the front page was the reporting of “Allow Capital March, Judge Tells Alabama.” “A federal judge last night ordered Alabama officials to permit Dr. Martin Luther King’s civil rights army to march the 50 miles from Selma to this state capital (Montgomery). Moreover, the state authorities must protect the marchers…”. This was the granting of permission for the infamous Selma march which took five days to complete with thousands of people participating.

~The Traveler

Sure it does…

December 10, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Flying-Machine-aI have always found it amusing to discover articles–particularly those with photos or illustrations–on “flying machines” from before the Wright brothers. In hindsight most of the contraptions are comical yet provide fun reading.

Here is one headed “A New Flying Machine That Flies” which appeared in “The Illustrated American” from New York, Sept. 9, 1898. It apparently was collapsible (to fit in garages?) and could be unfolded to look much like an overgrown bat with propellers. The article notes that: “…There are a large number of details that the inventor has kept strictly to himself…”, the biggest likely that it didn’t fly.

But the article closes with a very prophetic note: “…it has a Flying-Machine-bmilitary side. It is impossible to imagine without terror the day when these mechanical birds, these flying apparitions, will be able to rain upon armies, hostile towns & escalating parties most deadly and most destructive explosives…”.