Aeronautical Annual

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The Aeronautical Annual was published by James Means in three volumes, 1895, 1896, and 1897. These are collections of aeronautics-related writings and images, mostly from the 19th century. An Epitome of the Aeronautical Annual was published in 1910.

The cover of the first volume depicts a winged horse, with rider apparently attacking leonine beast with hind hooves and a tail. (This image appears in Astra Castra (1865), facing p. 16, with caption "Bellerophon fights the Chimæra". The horse is understood to be Pegasus.)

Epigraph in first volume:

If this compilation should happily bring any new workers into the field of aeronautical experiment, the hopes of the editor will be amply fulfilled.
To ask questions of Mother Nature is delectable.
If her answers be often non-committal, even such are lures to lead us into better questioning.
This number of The Annual contains not much that is new, but divers things which—to use the words of an old compiler—"do now for their Excellency and Scarceness deserve to be Reprinted."

In the second:

The profits of this edition of The Annual—if any—will be given to the Boston Aeronautical Society to be added to its Experiment Fund. (See page 86.)

The third is dedicated:

To the Memory
OF THOSE WHO
INTELLIGENTLY BELIEVING IN THE POSSIBILITY
OF
MECHANICAL FIGHT
HAVE
LIVES DERIDED,
AND
DIED IN SORROW AND OBSCURITY

The three volumes open, respectively, with images of Leonardo da Vinci, Otto Lilienthal, and Samuel P. Langley.

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