Presented here is an article written by Hiram Maxim (1840 – 1916), who amongst his many inventions created a machine gun and a sprinkler system, though never purchased until the patent expired saw his invention actually used after that.
The article was published in the June 1892 edition of em>Cosmopolitan magazine. Yes, that Cosmo, but no, not that Cosmo. While in 2013 Cosmopolitan is indeed a woman’s magazine that the smart man would be wise to read (I do – know ‘the enemy’ and all that rot), but back in 1892, Cosmopolitan was a magazine that then specialized in publishing fiction and articles on science.
The following photos were scanned by myself from a copy of the actual article I own. I know, I know… I’m a strange man – but who could resist owning an article by one of the pioneers of aviation, especially someone who invented a machine gun, curling iron, an apparatus for demagnetizing watches, magno-electric machines, devices to prevent the rolling of ships, eyelet and riveting machines, aircraft artillery, an aerial torpedo gun, coffee substitutes, and various oil, steam and gas engines.
Since Maxim was indeed a pioneer of aviation, there is a card in my series of 1910 Wills’s tobacco Aviation cards, and I will perform an adequate bio on him soon enough.
For now… enjoy the article on aviation he penned 11 years before the Wright Brothers left the ground for the very first time. It’s quite illuminating. In it Maxim discusses the feasibility of both lighter-than-air and heavier-than-air possibilities, and the sue of the then-rare aluminum as usable, but expensive metal. He offers opinions showing how other would-be inventions will be pure folly to try citing decent enough physics and aerodynamic engineering knowledge. Basically, he discusses the limitations of equipment in 1892 and what must be done to overcome such barriers.
In the article, Maxim also details plans for his proposed testing grounds for an aeroplane, and even what the aeroplane would look like and of what construction materials! It sounds like it would be practical – but would it? That’s a story unto itself, however. Soon…
Basically, Maxim – in this article – outlines everything a would-be inventor of aeroplanes would need to know in order to achieve flight… and all he needed was two years and $100,000. No problem, right?
To check out the article, simply click on the first page (scanned image) below, and go from there. There may even be a button below the image allowing you to view each page at its larger size… but if you click again on the page, it will make it even larger – to its original size.