Monday, July 7, 2014

Manuscript Monday—California Aeronautic Company

This delightful stock certificate was issued by the California Aeronautic Company in 1876 and illustrated by the African American artist and lithographer Grafton Tyler Brown.

California Aeronautic Company stock certificate, 1876 April 3, MS 21, California Historical Society, MS 21_001.jpg
Brown's biographer Robert J. Chandler describes the apparatus soaring over the San Francisco Bay as a "hummingbird with propellers aft," although to this viewer it looks more like a robotic Dumbo. Either way—like so many dreams—the California Aeronautic Company's flying machine never got off the ground.

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian
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