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Harper's Weekly Cover with Charles Ritchel's Airship
This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.
In 1878 Charles Francis Ritchel, of Corry, Pennsylvania, invented an airship composed of a barrel-shaped gas bag attached to a frame with propellers, and powered by a hand crank. Ritchel was too heavy to fly the airship himself, and was thus always forced to find a pilot. The first public flight of his craft was in Philadelphia's Concert Hall in May 1878, and the first outdoor flight was in June 1878 in Hartford, Connecticut. He then went on to conduct many more successful flights both indoors and outdoors, mainly in New England.
Harper's Magazine Foundation
Jane L. Crotser, Gift, 2004
0.05 Cubic feet ((1 folder))
No restrictions on access.
Scope and Contents
The cover of Harper's Weekly in New York, on 13 July 1878, depicts Ritchel's airship in flight.
Ritchel, Charles F.
Harper's Weekly Cover with Charles Ritchel's Airship, Accession 2004-0053, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
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National Air and Space Museum
6th St. and Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20560
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
10:00 am - 5:30 pm