Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
This pre-war invention was not Patton's, the basket holding ' provisions ', not bombs. Inventors leapt from cliffs, launched themselves skyward encased in canvas and filled sketchbooks with improbably soaring, iron, steam puffing monsters. That inventors would foresee an air war was inevitable but did not happen until decades post Civil War. James C Patton could have written page one, in the history of the air war - maybe?
" Flying machines ' were the stuff of dreams and dreamers, curiosities noted in newspapers but taken seriously by scientific journals. Interesting name, in connection to one in 1864?
James C. Patton of North Carolina's fame in air travel does not seem to have spread beyond his state. He seems to have been a prosperous farmer, by the looks of his will. Judging by various quips aimed at the guy in local papers he was regarded as a bit of a crackpot, albeit a patriotic crackpot. Inventors were looked at funny, especially if their inventions seemed just preposterous. Since he seems to have produced, beyond The Flying Machine Which Never Was, a both a shell and a torpedo for the Confederacy, maybe not so crazy.
Patton had some problems with funding his inventions- and would love to hear more about the misunderstanding with the Russian fellow?
( If this is the wrong forum, please move? James C. Patton was not a soldier, or I cannot find him if he was but worked for the war, by himself. Cool stuff. )
Our archives have era issues of ' Scientific American '- which are incredible reading. My grandfather, a Civil Engineer passed on his copies to the grandchildren after reading them, in the 1960's and 70's, had no idea the publication was already 100 years old.
Here's the best snip- still looking for more information on the Rock Dumper, war flying machine. Little smitten by James C.'s persistency and well, inventiveness, although he's sure determined to wipe out Yankees.
A LOT here! Patton's hysterically named Rock Dropper Flying Machine, yet another- perhaps a trebuchet-like engine of war, had both been rejected- or failed. His shell, it seems was another matter. Point being, Patton knew his stuff. So what if?
Quinby patented this, barely post war ( LoC ), but conceptions for fantabulous Flying Machines abound- will leave with something illustrative of our obsession to go up- and stay there.
From 1748, The Minerva was to be a small community committed to living ' up there '. Unsure whether or not the structures below were to be outhouses? Grgrandfather observed bombings, near Serbia, around 1914. Pilots held bombs in their laps and simply pitched them overboard, over targets. You can't help but think Patton would have been delighted to add some artillery to Minerva, described somewhere as a potential Man O War- if only he'd gotten his hands on her. Boy would Washington have been in trouble. And there IS a cannon, James, so a start.
Images from Public Access books, 1880, on Hathitrust, and LoC patent image