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