La Machine a Vapeur Aërienne de M. Henson


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 (H x W): 35.6 × 45.7cm (14 × 18 in.)
  • Unmatted (H x W): 23.5 × 28.6cm (9 1/4 × 11 1/4 in.)

Country of Origin


Physical Description

  • Colored lithograph of the 'Aeriel,' the Aerial Steam Carriage designed by John Stringfellow and William Samuel Henson, flying over a city and river. The parts of the aircraft are identified with a key. Published in France.
  • 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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