Monthly Archives: May 2017

Balloons, Airships, and Flying Machines

By Gertrude Bacon 1905

The Authoress, her Father, and Mr. Spencer making an Ascent.

Such strength a man has never possessed, or can ever hope to; but even as it is, by long practice and great effort, men have succeeded at different times, not exactly in flying, but in helping themselves along considerably by means of wings. A man is said to have flown in this way in Rome in the days of Nero. A monk in the Middle Ages, named Elmerus, it is stated, flew about a furlong from the top of a tower in Spain, another from St. Mark’s steeple in Venice, and another from Nuremburg. 13 But the most successful attempt ever made in this direction was accomplished about 200 years ago by a French locksmith of the name of Besnier. He had made for himself a pair of light wooden oars, shaped like the double paddle of a canoe, with cup-like blades at either end. These he placed over his shoulders, and attached also to his feet, and then casting himself off from some high place, and violently working his arms and legs so as to buffet the air downwards with his paddles, he was able to raise himself by short stages from one height to another, or skim lightly over a field or river. It is said that subsequently Besnier sold his oars to a mountebank, who performed most successfully with them at fairs and festivals.

Ham in the Bible

Ivan Ksenofontov. The damnation of Ham

Ivan Ksenofontov. The damnation of Ham

Genesis 5:32 indicates that Noah became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth from the age of 500 years old, but does not list in detail their specific years. (Noah was 600 years old at the time of the flood in Genesis 7.) An incident involving Ham is related in Genesis 9:20-27.

20And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:

21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent. 22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.

24 ¶ And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him. 25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. 26 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
Authorized King James Version