Mr. Graham’s Aeronaut

Mr. Edgar and Thomas Walsh were the architects of Campbell House Museum. Looks like one of Mr. Edgar’s draftsmen has been designing more than just buildings……

Local MattersAir Ship – Mr. Graham, a Draughtsman in Mr. Edgar’s office, corner of Fourth and Green streets, has invented a ship for navigating the air, called an “Aeronaut.” It is to consist of a slight wooden framework, covered with varnished linen, containing fifty thousand cubic feet of gas, and calculated to carry ten or twenty people according as carbonated or simple hydrogen is used.  The only machinery connected with it, are two wheels with vanes like the ordinary ventilators of windows.  These vanes when acted upon by the wind, exert a reactionary power, which diminishes the resistance, while the wind acts upon the sides in the same manner as on those of a ship; and this is only power used, except in a calm, when a single man can drive by the wheel, at the rate of about five and a half miles per hour.  The cost of the whole contrivance will be only about two hundred dollars; but as the inventor’s pecuniary circumstances will not admit of his undertaking the construct on himself, he would feel very grateful to the public if they would aid him in bringing into action an invention so important as regards philanthropy and utility.  The extremely cheap and easy means which it will supply to the poor of every nation for going all over the world and bettering their condition – the opportunity it affords for placing all inland cities on par with seaport towns as regards commerce – the many facilities it offers for confirming the overland route to the Pacific, and populating the route thither of the intended Railroad, have suggested to the inventor the hope that the public of St. Louis and its neighborhood will be likely to take strong interest in carrying the invention into practical effect.  Any persons willing to take a patent out for it are quite free to do so in connection with J. C. Edgar, Esq., and the inventor, who has himself no personal interest in its pecuniary success, having transferred his share already to the church for charitable purposes.  The subscription of any­­­­ person who wish to take part in this benevolent enterprise, will be thankfully received by Mr. Graham, at the office of J. C. Edgar, Architect.  The inventor proposes to have the Aeronaut finished in ten days after the necessary sum has been subscribed – then to exhibit it for [ascent?] at first as a modification of the ordinary balloon, and commit the receipts, which are expected to exceed considerably the original cost, to the subscribers to be devoted by them to any public or charitable purpose they may decide upon. [1]


[1] Daily Missouri Republican, 19 March 1853, page 2

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