Yankee Inventors Flying Ship Rufus Porter

ISBN: 9780873510523

Published: January 1st 1969


51 pages


Yankee Inventors Flying Ship  by  Rufus Porter

Yankee Inventors Flying Ship by Rufus Porter
January 1st 1969 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, RTF | 51 pages | ISBN: 9780873510523 | 6.36 Mb

Floating over American on DreamsDreams of flying - or floating - were part of the American imagination, the public and inventors alike. Many tinkerers of the latter category were dismissed as delusional, little more than fools whose visions had little chances of ever becoming reality. So strong was this sentiment that, despite all the confidence they exuded, Orville and Wilbur Wright themselves kept their early flights secret, so as not to be accorded the same label should their experiments fail to succeed.

It is, thus, with irony to note the other side of the equation: the near boundless confidence in the abilities of Yankee technology and ingenuity to solve even the most intractable technological problem, that (in the words of Alberto Santos-Dumont) Man flies. Enter Rufus Porter, A New England inventor, writer, artist, and scientist (in fact, the founder of Scientific American magazine), who in 1849 astounded a New York City audience with the fight of a controlled clockwork-powered model balloon inside the Tabernacle Church.

He then proclaimed that in the not-too-distant future a huge full-size aircraft of the type would transport over 100 passengers coast to coast in three days in luxury and safety- in fact, he would be the person to design and build the machine.

There were a good number who dismissed Mr. Porter as a crank. Nevertheless, this scientist and engineer already had important inventions to his credit. What is more, his flying machine was more than a publicity stunt to lift a small payload - the pilot- what Porter had in mind was to give the nation a trans-continental airliner.

Unable to find a suitable powerplant and to secure the funding he needed for his ambitious project, the huge passenger-carrying balloon never went beyond the detailed drawings, descriptions, and calculations of two small brochures he printed. As highly collectible pieces of Americana, such brochures are very hard to come by and command high prices. This little book offers an accessible and economical reprint of these interesting curiosities, along with expert commentary by the editor, Rhoda R. Gilman. From the perspective of the reader, it is sometimes hard to follow what material is of Porter and what is editorial commentary.

That weakness aside, this little book offers a very interesting glimpse into a period of American cultural history and the dreams of many - whether or not many would admit to harboring such dreams.

Enter the sum

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