Guggenheim, 1930, The Seven Skies

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Harry F. Guggenheim. The Seven Skies. New York, London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1930.

Contains eight essays dealing with the skies as mankind's newest frontier (possessing the former mystery and allure of the seven seas.)

The first essay deals with "Aviation's First One Hundred Years" and mentions Leonardo da Vinci, Francis Lana, the Frères Montgolfier, Pilatre de Rozier, Jeffries & Blanchard, George Cayley, William Samuel Henson, John Stringfellow, Le Bris, Henri Giffard, Otto Lilienthal, Percy Pilcher, Clément Ader, Octave Chanute, Montgomery (?), Samuel Pierpont Langley, Alberto Santos-Dumont, the Wright Brothers, Louis Blériot, and Glenn Curtiss—then gets into the war.

The most notable invention for air flight preceding the balloon was Francis Lana's airboat of 1670, which was to be lifted into the air by means of the ascensive power of four large globes of very thin copper, from which the air had been wholly exhausted. Lana's calculations of a copper globe which would weigh less than the air it displaced called for a copper of such thinness that it would not have been able to withstand the external pressure of the air when the internal air was removed. (p. 23)

Guggenheim credits Germany with developing modern airship transportation, starting with the Zeppelin Foundation for Promotion of Airship Navigation, formed in 1908 with popular subscription of $1,500,000. ("The far-reaching Zeppelin organisation of to-day is still endeavouring to carry out Count Zeppelin's ideas of a world-wide network of airship lines.") (pp. 29–30)

German Airship Transportation Company (= DELAG = Deutsche Luftschiffahrts-Aktiengesellschaft), formed in 1910, operated short-distance flights from 1911–1914. (p. 30)

(The rest of the book focuses on issues more current in the 1920s, including, centrally, the Lindbergh flight of 1927.)

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