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The Last Man, Edited by Steven E. Jones

II

balloon

Designs quickly began to appear for more extravagant flying machines, and many contained various sorts of wings or rudders--like the balloons in The Last Man. One of these included the Minerva, by a Mr. Robertson (Vienna 1804). Robertson's optimistic prospectus reads in part, "There is no limit to the science and the arts, which cultivation does not overstep. We have everything to hope and to expect from time, from chance, and from the genius of man." Robertson's plan involved sending up a team of sixty passengers to conduct experiments and make scientific observations (not unlike an orbital mission today). In the larger image various machines and attached devices are visible, including a lifeboat, storage tanks, silk ladders, and an observatory.

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Published @ RC

October 1997