Commemorative cotton handkerchief with sepia brown ink showing satires of Henson's Ariel Steam Carriage in fictitious flights. 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 images produced here show the machine as Henson wished to see it - operating in all parts of the world.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library