GENET, Edmond Charles (1763-1834)
Memorial on the Upward Forces of Fluids
Albany: Packard & Van Benthuysen, 1825. Octavo. (9 x 5 3/4 inches). 112pp. 5 engraved plates, folding table. Foxing.
Publisher's lettered boards, rebacked
Among the earliest American works on aviation.
An ambassador of the French Republic to the United States, Genet settled in New York and married Cornelia Clinton, the daughter of New York Governor George Clinton. Despite its title, which suggests hydraulics, the work largely deals with aviation and is regarded as the first printed suggestion of the theory of a heavier-than-air machine taking flight. The appendix includes chapters on "navigating the atmosphere," "applying steam power to aeronautics," and the "velocity of different winds." "This pamphlet by the former Ambassador from France contains a proposal for a large airship and other suggestions for the use of the aerostatic principle" (Aeronautic Americana). The "first book printed in the United States on practical aeronautics and on the first patent for an aeronautical invention" (Streeter). Scarce.
Aeronautical Americana 9; Honeyman Sale 1475; Howes G100; Rink 610; Streeter Sale 3974.