Satire on steam-powered flight, Germany, 1829-1845.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Hand-coloured lithograph entitled; 'Dampfmaschinen Pferd worauf man in einer stunde von Paris nach Petersburg reiten kann' ('Steam engine horse on which one can ride from Paris to Petersburg in one hour'). The print shows a man seated on a steam-powered rocket-like contraption, which is propelling him through the sky above the rooftops and spires of a town. It is a German version of an English print satirising steam travel entitled; 'The Flight of Intellect: Mr Golightly experimenting on Mesrs Quick and Speed's new patent high-presure steam riding rocket'. In the early part of the 19th century, steam propulsion was regarded by some as something of an unreliable, if not downright dangerous, fad, with the risk of boiler explosions particularly to be feared.