Lost in a storm on February 12, 1935, the airship USS Macon emerges from the clouds in this stock Navy footage.
RIGID AIRSHIP GROUND OPERATIONS, SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA, 1934 - 1935
Macon’s sister airship the USS Akron shared the same fate and was lost in the Atlantic 2 years earlier. However lessons learned from the Akron disaster enabled the rescue of nearly the entire crew of the Macon.
Both were among the largest airships ever built, and included their own complement of Sparrowhawk “parasite fighters” that could be launched while in flight.
Jules Verne, early science fiction author and godfather of the steampunk genre was born on February 8, 1828. What better day to share the National Archives’ Steampunk board on Pinterest?
Are you following the US National Archives on Pinterest? Our photographs from the Joint Committee to Investigate Dirigible Disasters, created to investigate the cause of the USS Akron disaster and the wrecks of other Army and Navy dirigibles, were the inspiration for the steampunk board. What are you favorite things to pin on Pinterest?
File under: Undertaking, Coffins, Life Signals.
In case Eisenbrandt’s spring-loaded coffin wasn’t creepy enough, on December 5, 1882 J. G. Krichbaum patented his device for indicating life in buried persons. We’re curious if this was ever successfully employed?
Patent Drawing for J. G. Krichbaum’s Device for Indicating Life in Buried Persons, 12/05/1882
Drawing for a Submarine Boat, 09/09/1902
Inventor John P. Holland submitted this drawing of a submarine boat to the United States Patent Office in support of his application for a patent. Holland also designed the U.S. Navy’s first commissioned submarine, the eponymous USS Holland
Drawing for a Typewriter, 06/23/1868
In 1868, C. Lantham Sholes, Carlos Glidden, and Samuel W. Soule received a patent for their improved type-writing machine. In their application, they wrote that “the type-writer is the simplest, most perfectly adapted to its work…and in every way the best of all machines yet designed for the purpose.”
Patent Drawing for a Flying Machine, 04/15/1913
On April 15, 1913, The Patent Office granted David Hamilton Coles a patent for an improvement in airships. In his application, Coles meticulously described his new designs for various parts of the airship, such as, the valves, propellers, and engine.
[note: image rotated 90° for the full airship effect]
In 1830, Sewall Short and Noah Bradford submitted a patent application for the submarine explorer. In their application, they claimed that they had created a water-tight suit, different from any diving apparatus known before.
Drawing of Submarine Explorer, 02/18/1830
In 1867, William F. Goodwin, of Washington, DC, applied for a patent for an improvement in mechanical toys. His drawing shows a mechanical horse, but in his application he explains that his invention “can be applied to toys made in the image of a variety of animals, either quadruped or biped.
Drawing of Toy Horse, 01/22/1867