The problem of aerial navigation has taken the place of the philosopher's stone with many, and a gentleman in Paris, M. Julien Duchaud, aged 50, and formerly a brilliant pupil at the School of Arts and Sciences, may be added to the list of those who have had too much learning. Having expended his whole patrimony in experiments, and by invention after invention tired the patience of friends anti acquaintances, he svccoeded in produ ing an apparatus which lie thought would successfully carry him through the air. He invited his friends to accompany him to St Germain, where he intended to try his apparatus publicly by flying from a terrace to Paris. The invitation was accepted, and M. Duchaud, although ho declared he had no misgivings as to his saccess, thought it would be prudent to try it first and see whether it was in full; working order. He waited until the streets were quite deserted, and at two in the morning he prepared for his aerial flight. His apparatus was something like a sentry-box, built of light wood, and armed with huge wings projecting from either side, and worked by means of pedals. Fortunately, the inventor seems at the last moment to have had some misgivings as to his success. Before casting himself off the top of the house he tied a stout rope to one of the chimneystacks. When everything was ready he clutched the rope and made his leap. He beat the air with his wings, but lie began to sink rapidly, and, the rope burning his hands, lie let go, falling et- '■» a balcony and then into the street, where he was found by the police, attracted by the cries of the neighbors. His sentry-box had prevented him from being killed on the spot, but ho was severely bruised and shaken.
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Aerial Navigation., Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 14, 28 October 1879
Aerial Navigation. Ashburton Guardian, Volume I, Issue 14, 28 October 1879
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