The Aereon airship of Dr. Andrews during the Civil War and the radio of Dr. Loomis...

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!


To all readers:

I was fascinated to find your website, in looking at the pages devoted to Civil War rocketry, and thought all of you might possibly be interested in knowing about a fascinating sidelight I encountered while doing some purely amateur research on advanced Civil War technology. Apparently, a Solomon Andrews, M.D., who was also the mayor of Perth Amboy, NJ, during the Civil War, evidently, from other material I had read besdies what I will be pasting in below, was able to actually meet with Pres. Loncoln during the Civil War about a dirigible airship called the Aereon that he buil, and, from what I have read, actually was able to demonstrate. I have read an account, in an early text, the name of which I have forgotten, although I am still searching for it, over Manhattan, and, possibly, over Washington, DC. There was apparently little interest; however, there is now a company, in NJ, called AEREON, that also details the work of Dr. Andrews. I am uncertain as to the exact relationship of the present AEREON company, also in NJ, to the work by Dr. Andrews, although I should think there might actually be some relation, although I had also thought to search further.

In any event, as all of you seem to enjoy such sidelights and forays into advanced Civil War technology, I thought all of you might find this one of more than usual interest. Also, look up the work on early radio, done just after the Civil War, by an upper NY-State dentist, Dr. Mahlon W. Loomis, who, interestingly, was also issued a patent by Congress, apparently, for his early tests. I gather his work did not see any use during the Civil War; however, it was, at least, tantalizingly close to that period, even if shortly afterward. A fascinating anecdote, in any event; in fact, the IEEE, the major U.S. electrical-engineering society, from what I have seen, has, on occasion, made passing referece to having him, and/or one or two others also doing such early radio research, the true inventors of radio, displacing Marconi. Obviously, Marconi was the first to deliberately use the work of Hertz and MAxwell specifically to create radio on an industrial basis; however, as anecdotes, such stories are still fascinating, nevertheless, I should think. Here are two relevant sites about both:

(a) About Dr. Andrews,
(b) About Dr. Loomis,'Life.PDF
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!


Aug 26, 2007
Central Florida
America first Airship...? 1863...? form wiki... I wonder if Lincoln saw this demonstration ...

Solomon Andrews (February 15, 1806 – October 17, 1872) was a doctor, aviator and dirigible airship inventor.[1] Andrews invented an airship called Aereon which received some notice in the 1860s. He claimed to sail it as one would a sailboat.

His first "Aereon" flew over Perth Amboy on June 1, 1863.[8] This had three 80-foot cigar-shaped balloons, with a rudder and gondola. Buoyancy was controlled by jettisoning sand ballast or releasing hydrogen lift gas.[2] Dr. Andrews wrote Abraham Lincoln later that summer offering the Aereon for use in the American Civil War, during which he served for a time as a volunteer surgeon in the Union Army.[4] After much discussion, he arranged a demonstration early in 1864 before the Smithsonian Institution. He was informed, nearly a year later, that the Government had little interest in his invention, and by that time the war was nearly over.


Lithograph of Solomon Andrews's first airship "Aereon"
Andrews then organized the Aerial Navigation Company to build commercial Airships and establish a regular line between New York and Philadelphia.

The "Aereon #2" had one "lemon-shaped" balloon, sharply pointed at the ends. It controlled buoyancy with a system of lines and pulleys that compressed the gas or allowed it to expand.[2] This flew over New York City on May 25, 1866 and June 5, 1866. The second trip, carrying a passenger-assistant (a news reporter had to be left out at the last minute because of weight problems)[9] ended at Oyster Bay, Long Island. At this point, the post-war economic collapse and its bank failures destroyed the company, and he never flew again.

The difference of specific gravity between the balloon and the surrounding atmosphere could be converted by a system of inclined planes to steer the craft, without a motor.[10][clarification needed] He referred to his propulsion as "gravitation."[11] The craft was not normally trimmed to be neutrally buoyant. Instead it would be cycled between positive and negative buoyancy. The resulting airflow across the body of the craft and attached airfoils would propel it.

Here are links about his first flight:"Aereon"+flew+over+Perth+Amboy+on+June+1,+1863.&source=bl&ots=-6qFBcAEY-&sig=ACfU3U0FEoPqJMUgMVD58NRywXVwIh0Upw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwia5JvGpYPgAhUFI6wKHQwsBK0Q6AEwA3oECAcQAQ#v=onepage&q="Aereon" flew over Perth Amboy on June 1, 1863.&f=false"Aereon"+flew+over+Perth+Amboy+on+June+1,+1863.&source=bl&ots=9L5dx_Bp_S&sig=ACfU3U2bgUCBpYmITPgCok2qQooMLQzVkg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwia5JvGpYPgAhUFI6wKHQwsBK0Q6AEwAnoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q="Aereon" flew over Perth Amboy on June 1, 1863.&f=false
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Rebforever Civil War History Discussion 3
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!