NUMBER TWO. The grand obstacle in the way of operating artificial wings, for the purpose of flying, by steam power, has been the unavoidable weight of the steam boiler. To obviate this, engines have been invented to work without boilers, being furnished with small generators which are heated to redness, and having small quantities of water injected into them, for the purpose of producing steam instantaneously, at a high pressure. This plan appeared feasible to most scientific men until the experiment was made and the theory tested, when it was- discovered that red- hpt iron would not immediately convert water into steam. Engines were also projected—being suggested by the steam engine—to be operated by the gases produced, or liberated, by the combustion of gunpowder, or its constituent materials ; and there is yet room for further experiment on this subject ; but the heating of the machinery, and the adherence of the residuum to the cylinders employed, have thus lar defeated these efforts. Various plans have been projected for propelling and guiding the common spherical balloon. In 1845 an Italian gentleman, under the euphonious cognomen of Tuzzio Muzzi, gave a lecture with an illustrative exhibition, in one of the most popular halls in this city ; and, being a foreigner, he raised curiosity and expectation so high as to fill the house with a fashionable audience desirous tolearn the art of aerial navigation. His lecture was brief, because he had not much to say, and not much occasion for saying it. After descanting on the prevalent desire for aerial locomotion, he brought out a miniature balloon, three or four feet in diameter, and furnished with a pair of horizontal, inclinable planes, so often employed before by other inventors, for the purpose of producing a forward movement, by their alternate inclinations, according as the balloon is made to ascend or descend by the ordinary means. But the idea was new to a New York audience, and all appeared satisfied that a balloon might be propelled at least half a mile per hour, in a still atmosphere. Some time after a Mr. Taggart, of Massachusetts, gave out word that on a certain day he would sail from Lowell to An-dover, and return to Lowell ; a distance of ten miles. At the time appointed, he did succeed in reaching Wilmington, a few miles to the right of Andover, but could not return. This aerial machine, having an out-rig in front of the car, which was furnished with a propelling device, to be operated by a man within the car, and having a long rudder in the opposite direction, might evidently have been propelled moderately, in any direction, in a perfectly calm atmosphere ; but could not stem the least breeze of wind, and, of course, pould not bfe made available for navigation. But in nearly all the experiments ou this subject, the projectors have overlooked the immense atmospheric resistance which a balloon must encounter, if propelled with any considerable velocity through a calm atmosphere. Take, for instance, a balloon capable of lifting 1,000 lbs., including its own weight ; the diameter of the balloon, even if filled with pure hydrogen gas, must be 31 feet, and its area 750 square feet, which is equal to a plane surface of 600 square feet, placed at right angles with the direction of the motion. To propel this surface with a velocity of twenty miles an hour, would requite a continuous force of 1,200 lbs. ;—equal to 650-horse power. Several persons during the present century, have been shrewd enough to discover that an oblate spheroid, or a parabolic spindle, would encounter less atmospheric resistance, in passing through the air, than a ball or globe. Among those who projected plans for the employment of parabolic spindle balloons, was a Mr. Pennington, of Baltimore, who proposed to suspend a cubical box, at some distance below the center of the balloon, or aerial float, to serve as a cabin, and contain a steam engine ; the power of which was to be applied to some device for propelling it. But our diagram of the machine having been mis-laid, we cannot give a full description ; nor is it essential at present, since the plan has been abandoned without a trial of its merits. Prior to this Mr. Ira Smith, of Massachusetts, invented an aerial or flying apparatus in which a parabolic spindle was to have been employed ; but as he did not put it in operation, or publish any description of it, we cannot describe his mechanism, nor his intended mode of management. In 1853, Mr. Edward D. Tippet applied to Congress for an appropriation to bring into practical use, what he styled his " Magnificent Aerostatic Machine," which he declined to explain ; and the mode of propulsion of which, he " profoundly keeps to himself," as it is " the only plan which will ever answer the purpose." But not having at command sufficient funds to build his machine himself, he, of course, could not afford to buy or procure a uflScient amount of lobby influence, to work up the case in Congress to any favorable result. It is not our purpose to advocate any man's theory any further than it has been supported by practical demonstration. But the practicability of ascending into the atmosphere, sailing among the clouds, and moving in different directions by means of different currents at different altitudes, has been established by Professors Wise, Pauline, Low, and others. But all this is far from being satisfactory. Men want to travel through the air, not only in any required direction, but with any required velocity, or, at least, with a speed exceeding that of ordinary gales of wind, and independently of atmospheric currents. Can this be done ? The few who admit the possibility are forced to confess that they cannot see flow it can be done. And among the most skeptical on this subj ect, are those who have the most experience in balloon traveling. Still there are some who not only persist in their confidence, but offer arguments and demonstrations, not easily refuted ; and one at least, who challenges the world to meet him in public discussion on that subject ; he taking the affirmative. That man is Mr. Rufus Porter, of this city, who has probably devoted as much time and expense to study and experiment on this subject as any other man in this country. Mr. Porter claims to have invented the main features of his aerial ship, or (as he terms it) aroport, as early as 1820, but constructed his first model at Bristol, Conn., in 1833. In 1847 he procured the construction of an operating model, which was publicly exhibited in thi3 city; and while that was being exhibited by his friends here, he constructed a larger and improved model, and exhibited the same at Temple Hall, in Boston. These models were propelled through the air by propelling wheels operated by springs ; but the inventor proceeded to Washington, and there constructed and exhibited a model twenty-two feet long, by four feet in diameter, and propelled by a regular steam engine, operating a pair of propelling wheels, and guided by a four-leaved rudder. This model consisted of a float of the form known as the revoloidal spindle, made of fine oiled silk, supported internally by twelve rods three eigthths of an inch in diameter and extending from point to point. Three feet below the float was suspended a saloon, seven feet long and ten inches in diameter, of the same form as the float only that its cross section was square instead of being round. This saloon was furnished with a row of open windows on each side, and the representation of many happy looking passengers looking out at, or sitting opposite the windows. When adjusted above the stage of Carusi's large hall—furnished with flags, and gaily painted—and standing still without contact with anything, there was considerable sensation, and many rose to their feet ; but in a moment the steam valve was opened and the miniature aroport started forward, and with rapid speed sailed round the circumference of the hall and returned promptly to the position whence it started. As it is a matter of some importance to the public that 326 these facts should be established as precedents, we copy the following notices of thesa exhibitions, from papers published at f.hat time. "The Aerial Steamer Model was again tried at the Merchant's Exchange yesterday afternoon, and with brilliant suc-c ~ss. It described the circle of the rotunda eleven times in succession, following its rudder like a thing instinct with life. With its description of each circle, burst after burst of ap-plause arose from the excited throng, and followed it throughout its journey. At the close of the performance, three loud cheers were given for the steamer, and the auditors quitted the rotunda with very manifestation of pleasure and delight."—Nfio Ym'kTrue Hun. The Model Aerial Steamer was exhibited again in the Merchant's Exchange yesterday, and satisfied some of its ... rcatost opponents that it could navigate the air."—JSitn York SH:1. " Mr. Porter's flying machine did all that it promised on Wednesday evening. It rose above the audience, and went round the hall, exactly as he said it would, and the spectators gave three cheers for the successful experiment."—Boston Bee. " The flying machine did fly last evening, though rather low. At the second and third attempts, the apparatus went round the- hall, just over the heads ot the auditory, very satisfactorily, and elicited three hearty cheers from the spectators. Mr. Porter may be considered as having fairly demonstrated the theory of aerial navigation ; but it is only in the op.-n air that the practicability of the theory can be demonstrated."—Boston Mai'. AERIAL NAVIGATION".—Mr. Porter has made several suc- \ rcasful exhibitions of his model aroport, or flying ship, at Ou'uii's saloon, on which occasion the assembled spectators manifested much excitement, admiration, and gratification, s.3 the strainer with its gay saloon and flying colors, sailed about the hall, floating in air, and with the semblance of several passengers looking out at the windows of the floating saloon. On Fsiday afternoon the pupils of several schools .???, ijjble.1, and witnessed with manifest pleasure, the phenomenon of a steam vessel sailing through the air, propelled by an operating strain engine."—National Intelligencer. " THE FLYING SHIP.—The performance at Carusi's saloon last evening, was highly satisfactory, and elicited frequent iipplauso from the excited audience. A mode of traveling rapidly and safely through the air, in any required direction, lias been desired by man in all ages of the world. But never prior to the introduction Of Mr. Porter's model aroport, has anything appeared upon which creeping humanity could base a rational anticipation of the long desired art ; and even witli the reality of a bona fide aerial steamer, men are inclined to imagine that what they see is but an optical illusion, or some peculiar affection of the imagination. But there, is the tangible fact before them—a real, mechanically-constrncteil steam ship, with its wheals, engine, and cargo, floating in air, and occasionally shooting forward in directions or circles, according to the dictates of its engine and helm."—Washington Evening Star. After having tested the main principles of his invention on a small scale. Mr. Porter made arrangements, procured materials, and commenced the construction of an aroport at Washington, on a scale large enough to do good service, pro-\ided it had been carried through to completion,and had per-torme'l according to his anticipation. He constructed an aerial float 100 foot long, by 16 feet in diameter, made of var-nisht d ';aca cioth, supported internally by twelve rods extending the entire length. Suspended about sixteen feet below was a saloon sixty feet long and eight feet in diameter, tapering on a curve each way from the center, and furnished with seals for passengers, and glass windows kt the sides. In ihe center was an engine room,six by live feet, in which were a four-horse power boiler, and two cylinder engines. The '.'.oui was furnished with a rudder with four leaves, two vertical, and two horizontal, with four steering lines descending to thf enloon cabin. Between the float and saloon, were mounted a pair of six-fan propelling wheels, ten i'eet in diameter, connected to the engines by endless-chain belts. The buoyant power of the aroport over all the weight of float, naloon, engine, etc., would have been 700 lbs. All parts of the apparatus were finished, ready for operation, and the inflating boxes arranged, with a full supply of acid and zinc 1 inflation,when it was discovered that the varnish, which had been used for prepaiing the float, had so weakened the linen that it would surjpert but little more than itsown weight; and while the workmen were engaged in repairing and strengthening it—the float having been ? rtly inflated with air for that purpose—a sudden and severe storm, with a violent gale, rent the float so extensively, that, winter coming on at the same time, the work had to bo abandoned. Mr. Porter has since discovered a varnish that will not injure the fiber of lie en, and intends to construct an aroport to carry sixty passengers us soon as he can command the requisite funds for that purpose;. The fact has now l.eon satisfactorily established, that hy-diogen gas may be so confined in a bag, balloon, or other light -asing, as to lift ponderous substances from the earth, :uid hold them suspended in atmospheric air; that a long revo-I o'tdal, spindle may bo propelled through the air with less appli-c iticn of force, than a globe of equal buoyant capacity; that an inflated revoloidal spindle may be propelled rapidly through the air try the rapid rotation of oblique fans, or blades of fan whet-Si* : that men and light steam engines may be supported in air by the buoyant power of hydrogen, r,nd that a revo-loidai-spindle float may be steered by a rudder, while moving through the air by the application of the force of springs, or of steam power. Yet another fact remains unremoved, namely, thai, successful aerial navigatii*v, for common traveling, and business purposes, has not yet been established ; and that a large portion of intelligent scientific and buwness men are still skeptical on the subject of its practicability. It is interesting to observe the various arguments presented against it by men of reputed intelligence. The Philadelphia Bulletin, in noticing Mr. Porter's exhibitions, remarked as follows : " Though every man of sense is, or ought to be, aware of the impossibility of steering a balloon, or any other aerial machine, yet it seems there has been found, in New York, a fellow who was knave or fool enough to advertise, for exhibition, a Flying Machine, at the Tabernaele; and that there were found Dogberrys sufficient to fill that huge building. We have heard of nothing more ridiculous since a theater was once filled,on the other side of the Atlantic, to see a man get into a pewter pot. It would seem as if the gullibility of human nature kept even pace with the wit of knaves, and that nothing could be proposed for an exhibition, too preposterous to find believers. In this very case.the thing proposed was an impossibility. A ship is steered in the water because the action of the wind on the sails, and of the hull in the water,can be brought to counteract with each other by means of the rudder. Now, a flying machine is but in one element, and hence can never be steered. Yet, as in the analogous instance of perpetual motion, there will bo found dolts to believe in it, we suppose, to the end of time. Alas, poor humanity." A well-known gentleman in Washington, who- is regarded as a very scientific man, contends that a long revoloidal spindle would encounter more frictional resistance in passing through the air, than the amount of atmospheric resistance, obviated by its revoloidal form, as compared with that of a globe. Another gentleman volunteered to aver, in the presence of a large audience, in this city, that when a long revoloidal float should be running at light angles with the direction of a fresh breeze of wind, the force of the wind against its side would be so great, that even heavy iron plates would not be strong enough to resist it. A very popular balloonist of this city declared, publicly, that no other form of balloon than the spherical could be made to float in air. And there are many who can not see the possibility of any effectual action of the propelling wheels upon the air, when the wind is ahead, and, consequently, passing rapidly away from the fans of the wheels ; and that experienced aeronaut, Professor Wise, is apprehensive of difficulties in encountering vertical, and, sometimes, whirling currents in the air. Whether Mr. Porter has discovered reliable means of obviating all the apprehended difficulties, readers may j udge, after an examination of his theory, which has been published in pamphlet form, and from which we shall extract such portions as appear to be the most illustrative of tho main subject. On the practicability of aerial navigation, Mr. Porter thus argues and describes his plan of construction : " One hundred years of research and experiment, since Montgolfier commenced making his miniature paper balloons, has sufficiently established the fact,that the only possible way by which any useful and controllable mode of navigating the atmosphere, can be established, is by the use of aerial fioatB of the form of the revoloidal spindle, inflated with hydrogen gas, and with saloons suspended below, of similar form, only being square in their transversa sections, and propelled by means of oblique revolving fans, operated by the power of steam, or its equivalent, and steered by means of four-leaved, cross-plated, or hollow-square rudders, connected to the floats by universal joints ; the said float being made susceptible of enlargement or contraction, and tue machine (aroport) furnished with facilities for enlarging or diminishing the size of the float, or oither end of it, without varying the quantity of the gas therein contained ; and the saloon must be furnished with ready facilities for ascertaining the altitude, velocity, or ' course, even in time of mist or fog ; and furnished, also, with a self-regulating gas replenishes that will supply gas to keep the float uniformly full, without any attention from the engineer. It must, also, be lurnished with means for producing power to propel the aroport with sufficient speed to stem any gale of wind, or to keep a regular course when running at right angles with the direction of a gale. " In order to illustrate the feasibility of accomplishing all these points, it will be needful to give a description, in detail, of tho proper construction, furniture, and management of a regn ar, medium-sized aroport, for actual service." The details will be given in our next issue. Nicholas W. Darrell, and the First American Locomotive Few among the ihoueands, says the Rwal Carolinian, who are constantly passing up and down the South Carolina Railroad are aware what an ancient institution our pet road is, and most of our readers will be somewhat astonished, we have no doubt, on being told that the gentleman, a sketch of whose life, is herewith presented, ran on this road the first locomotive built in America, and that its fiist trip was made nearly forty years ago. What imagination could then have conceived anything like our present system of railways, covering a continent with a network of iron, and stretching out its many-jointed arms from the Atlantic to the Pacific? Here, right in our midst, was the small beginning, and here is the man who helped to give the initial impulse to the wheels of progress; living among us, beloved and respected by his friends and acquaintances, but unknown to the public. He shall be no longer unknown. The following facts concerning him were kindly furnished 1 y Mr. Jameo M. Eason, himself an engineer, and a builder of engines, and familiar with the history of the S. C. II. ? , from the beginning ; N, W, Dan-cU-, th.n subject "f this sketch, ws born on the 13th day of November. 1807. At an early age he became an apprentice to the late Thomas Dotterer, to learn the "engineer's trade." In the year 1830, the first American locomotive arrived in Charleston, and was named tho " Best Friend." It was made at the West Point Foundery, New York, under contract with Mr. E. L. Miller, for the South Carolina Canal and Railroad Company (now represented by the S. C. R R. Company). Mr. Darrell, with others, was set to work putting the locomotive together, and he was the man who first opened the throttle valve of an American built locomotive. He was appointed to the responsible position of engineer of the " Best Friend," and in that position he continued until the arrival of the second locomotive, when he took charge of that. For many years Mr. Darrell continued to run on the road ; when, for his fidelity and experience, he was finally promoted to the charge of the machinery of the road as master machinist. He continued fulfilling tne duties of this position until the close of the war, and still continues in the Company's employ. Mr. Darrell was noted for his devotedness to the interest of the road, and no day was a holiday for him, always anxious and feeling a large responsibility forthe success of the road. As engineer of the " Best Friend," he was undoubtedly the first locomotive engineor in America, and is a noted man in connection with the introduction of the era of railroads and locomotives into the United States, upon which so much of our prosperity, as a nation, depends.
This article was originally published with the title "Aerial Navigation"