Lithograph by W L Walton showing Henson's aerial Steam Carriage in a fictitious flight over a major city. William Henson (1812-1888) patented his aerial Steam Carriage in 1842 and, although the 'Ariel' never actually flew, there is no doubt that its design came to condition much of the thinking of the early aviation pioneers, and laid the foundations for the modern monoplane. Henson and his partner, John Stringfellow, planned to set up an airfreight company, the 'aerial Steam Transit Company' to transport goods around the world. The romantic print produced here shows the machine as Henson wished to see it - operating in all parts of the world.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library