Aeronaut and Inventor S. Andrews Passport 1852

A U.S. Passport, signed by Webster and Andrews, dated the 23rd day of June 1852. Double folio (419 x 279mm), with various subsequent stamps. Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

Solomon Andrews was a physician by profession, but it was the inventor of at least two dozen devices- from a gas lamp to a combination lock- that built his reputation and fortune. Andrews’s most outstanding achievement was in the field of balloon aviation, where he developed the world’s first self-propelled, steerable airship. Hailed as “the most extraordinary invention of the age,” the Aereon made its maiden flight in June 1863, piloted by its intrepid inventor.

Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

Daniel Webster (January 18, 1782 – October 24, 1852) was an American lawyer and statesman who represented New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the U.S. Congress and served as the U.S. Secretary of State under Presidents William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, and Millard Fillmore. As one of the most prominent American lawyers of the 19th century, he argued over 200 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court between 1814 and his death in 1852. He was a member of the Federalist Party, the National Republican Party, and the Whig Party during his life. Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

Solomon Andrews (February 15, 1806 – October 17, 1872) was a doctor, aviator, and dirigible airship inventor. Andrews invented an airship called Aereon, which received some notice in the 1860s. He claimed to sail it as one would a sailboat. Mention is made of the movement of the pilot and passenger fore and aft in the basket to control attitude. He was a medical doctor and three times Mayor of Perth Amboy, New Jersey. He served as the health officer of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and supervised the construction of the city’s first sewer system. He served as the Collector of the Port of New Jersey in Perth Amboy from 1844 to 1845. Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews
Solomon Andrews, National Portrait Gallery, c 1842

His first “Aereon” flew over Perth Amboy on June 1, 1863. This had three 80-foot cigar-shaped balloons with a rudder and gondola. Buoyancy was controlled by jettisoning sand ballast or releasing hydrogen lift gas. Dr. Andrews wrote Abraham Lincoln later that summer offering the Aereon for use in the American Civil War. He served for a time as a volunteer surgeon in the Union Army. After much discussion, he arranged a demonstration early in 1864 before the Smithsonian Institution. He was informed, nearly a year later, that the Government had little interest in his invention, and by that time, the war was nearly over. Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

Andrews then organized the Aerial Navigation Company to build commercial Airships and establish a regular line between New York and Philadelphia.

The “Aereon #2” had one “lemon-shaped” balloon, sharply pointed at the ends. It controlled buoyancy with a system of lines and pulleys that compressed the gas or allowed it to expand. This flew over New York City on May 25, 1866, and June 5, 1866. The second trip, carrying a passenger assistant (a news reporter had to be left out at the last minute because of weight problems), ended at Oyster Bay, Long Island. At this point, the post-war economic collapse and its bank failures destroyed the company, and he never flew again. Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

The specific gravity difference between the balloon and the surrounding atmosphere could be converted by inclined planes to steer the craft without a motor. He referred to his propulsion as “gravitation.” The vessel was not typically trimmed to be neutrally buoyant. Instead, it would be cycled between positive and negative buoyancy. The resulting airflow across the body of the craft and attached airfoils would propel it. Aeronaut Inventor passport Andrews

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