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.
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
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
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
FAQ Passport History
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1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
Question? Contact me...