Summer 2003

A Directory of Heavier-Than-Air Flying Machines in Western Europe, 850 BC–AD 1783

Ready for takeoff

Compiled by Clive Hart

In his book The Prehistory of Flight, Clive Hart analyzes the development of theoretical conceptions of flight and the nature of the air above us. Here we have reproduced his directory of attempts at heavier-than-air-flight. As Hart notes, “the earliest visions of manned flight call forth zany and ingenious inventiveness.” Hart has written widely on the history of av­iation, and is also a distinguished Joyce scholar. His research interests include experimental fiction, Swedish literature, the poetry and iconography of flight, and erotic tension in the poetry and visual arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

Cabinet no. 11 features an interview with Hart in its special themed section on “Flight.” An abridged version of this directory accompanied the interview.

Clive Hart has written widely on the history of aviation. His books include Kites: An Historical Survey (1967), The Dream of Flight (1972), The Prehistory of Flight (1985), and Images of Flight (1988).

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