The Ariel. The first Carriage of the Ærial Transit Company.


Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum

Restrictions & Rights

Do not reproduce without permission from the Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum

Credit Line

Gift of the Norfolk Charitable Trust


Print, Lithograph on Paper, Uncolored


  • Mat: 27.9 × 35.6cm (11 × 14 in.)
  • Unmatted: 22.9 × 28.6cm (9 in. × 11 1/4 in.)


c. 1843

Physical Description

  • Uncolored lithograph of William Samuel Henson and John Stringfellow's aerial steam carriage, the Ariel, flying over a tropical location. The land has palm trees and buildings with a river in the middle, with a sunrise or sunset in the background.
  • 'Royal Album, No. 20. Alfd. Arlile Lithog. London.'
  • William Samuel Henson, John Stringfellow, Frederick Marriott, and D.E. Colombine incorporated the "Aerial Transit Company" under English law in 1843. Their goal was to fund the construction of a flying machine capable of carrying "letters, goods and passengers from place to place through the air." Henson built a scale model of his design, which made one tentative steam powered run down a guide wire. Unsuccessful attempts to fly the small model, and a larger model with a 20-foot wing span, happened between 1844 and 1847. In an attempt to gain investors and support in Parliament, the company engaged in a major publicity campaign using images of the Ariel in exotic locales, but the company failed to gain the needed investment.


ART-Prints, Original

Inventory Number


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