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Page:Notes and Queries - Series 10 - Volume 12.djvu/158

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be granted to him, and every honorary reconi pense bestowed on him to which he can aspire He pretends to have discovered the means o guiding his machine, but it was not till after h had declared his intention of offering his projec to England in case of refusal here, that it wa accepted."

The second extract is from a letter datec 28 Dec., 1786 :

" M. Montgolfier pretends to have at las discovered means of directing the course o Balloons, and has obtained the sanction of M. de Calonne for his first experiment, which is to be made the first day of next May, when he engages "to depart from a town in Auvergne, distant from Paris 150 miles, and to descend at or near the City in the space of seven hours. I should almost scruple to mention to your Lordship ^in undertaking so extraordinary, had I noi heard from exceedingly good authority thai uch a plan is seriously in agitation. Greal credit is given to M. Montgolfier's superior skil in these matters, and that gentleman's friends are sanguine in their expectations of his success The weight he proposes to carry exceeds thai of a waggon load."

It has taken some 120 years to render Montgolfier's ambitions practicable, and but for the discovery of petroleum oil-wells, and the invention of light motors using this kind of fuel, the conquest of the air might still have been as problematical as it was when Dorset wrote. J. ELIOT HODGKIN.

AVIATION : EAKLY ATTEMPTS. At 10 S. xi. 8, 98, 145, 425, and 465 have been supplied, by various contributors, some very interesting particulars concerning at- tempts at aerial navigation. I have just come upon an account of a Jewish flying man in the columns of The Jewish World of the 30th ult. This early navigator of the air was one Otto Lilienthal, who is styled in this article the " pioneer and martyr of aerial flight." The article, interesting though it is, is too long for reproduction here ; all that can be said is that he was born in May, 1848, at Anklam.

" Lilienthal, who was assisted by his brother, experimented for twenty-five years. It was not until 1891 that he made his first flight; and five years later, on August 9th, at Rhinow, his machine was caught and tipped over by a gust of wind when he was fifty feet in the air. One of the wings of his machine, which had been damaged in a previous flight, had not, unfor- tunately, been properly repaired, and it is sup- posed to have given way. The machine turned a complete somersault ; Lilienthal came crashing to the ground, and was instantly killed."

An illustration of the machine is given in The Jewish World, and if it looks a little peculiar to us, it* is certainly not stranger than some of those with which we are getting acquainted from day to day.

Lilienthal did not use a motor, and he is said to have been the first to "glide" in the air. The machine to which he trusted himself consisted of " two large wings," which measured 23 feet from tip to tip ; they were made of calico, supported on a framework of wicker. It had also a " tail." He hung between the two wings, with his arms over the framework, as by this plan he believed he could counteract the currents of air which constantly threatened to overturn his " aeroplane." He experi- mented long and much, but it is clear that over his first machine he had very little control.

" Ultimately he secured greater stability by fixing a pair of rigid wings over those which supported him, so that the extra surface thus obtained enabled him to reduce the length of the wings."

Although not very successful himself, Lilienthal appears to have left behind him much that has been useful to his successors. W. E. HARLAND-QXLEY.


JOHNSONS AT WALSALL, STAFFS. The subjoined extracts are from F. W. Will- more' s ' Registers of St. Matthew's, Walsall,' 1890, which has no index, and therefore possibly the entries have not been collected before. Hacket, with whom there are two intermarriages, is a distinctly Lichfield name ; and Wollaston, and I believe Birch, are both connected with that town. The association of the Johnsons with Walsall seems to have ceased after 1643.

John Jonson md. Eliz. Wathams, 28 July, 1582.

John Jonson md. Sibella Hacket, 23 June, 1583.

John Jonson md. Agnes Hackett, 19 Jan., 1600. Deceased wife's sister ?)

Mr. Hu'frery Johnson md. Mary Wollaston, 19 Sept., 1605.

T'm'so Jonson md. Edwd. Birch, 25 May, 1585.

Rich (?) Johnson md. John Smith, 3 Aug., 1643. (Which is the woman ?) (? Joan.)

Thomas Jonson bapt. 8 Oct., 1570.

Agnes Jonson bapt. 2 Feb., 1573.

Agnes Jonson bapt. 18 May, 1575.

Wm. Jonson, fil. Job.., bapt. 7 July, 1583.

Abigail, d. Mr. Johnson, bapt. 28 Oct., 1606.

Eliza' Johnson, als. Troghton, bapt. 25 March, 607.

Nathannell Johnson, f. Mr. Johnson, bapt. 4 Feb., 1607.

Rd. Jonson, fil. John, bapt. 16 May, 1624.

Rd. Jonson (?) buried 24 Dec., 1586. Sibell Hackett, uxor John Jonson, buried 21 iug., 1599 (not 1575).

Eliz., wife of John Jonson, bur. 30 June, 1632. Old Richard Jonson buried 29 July, 1632. John Jonson, fil. Fras., buried 17 May, 1635. John Jonson of Walsall buried 26 Sept., 1640.