Elon Musk and his Hyperloop idea is 146 years old…

August 16, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

The recent buzz about Elon Musk and his Hyperloop transportation system is an idea that was actually conceived in 1867, and received enough attention at that time that a model of the “Pneumatic Railway” system, as displayed at the American Institute in New York City, appeared on the front page of the October 19, 1867 issue of “Harper’s Weekly”.

Once again the old adage and Biblical verse  “there is nothing new under the sun” is proven to be true. Every new idea seems to have some sort of precedent or echo from the past.

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…”.