NP: The Author, 1912. 6 original Drawings. Original Manuscript. Hard Cover. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. Very Good. Item #005491816
This original illustrated manuscript uniquely documents youthful passion for the evolution of powered flight in that heady period between Bleriot's first flight across the English Channel and the outbreak of World War I. It exudes the excitement of young people whose attention, just before the war, had been captured by pioneering aviators, aeroplane makers, and in this case, the manufacturers of engines. The work is presented and represented as a book, with a Preface beginning "In the preparation of this book it has been my aim to collect and compile true facts about the wonderful Gnome aeroplane engine." It is executed in a careful printed hand in black ink, and features five elaborate ink drawings of the Gnome rotary engine and four leading competitors, as well as a unique opening initial letter incorporating the Rhone. Other motors illustrated and discussed include the Anzani, Panhard "Vee", Darracq two-cylinder opposed, and four-cylinder Benz. From contextual evidence, the work dates from 1912 at the earliest to Summer 1914 at the latest. In addition to the glories of then-current state of aeroplane engines, Martin discusses the exploits of Bleriot, Henri Farman, and Santos Dumont. The author would appear to have been perhaps 12 to 15 years of age, most likely American, opening with the claim that the Gnome was originally invented in America under the name "Adams-Farwell" (a claim still circulating today). The book is housed in what appears to be the original binding, brown cloth over brown boards, upper cover hand-lettered in brown ink with a geometric drawing. The pagination is 2-31, which includes the endpapers and pastedowns, with 16 pages spread from folio 5 to folio 27 bearing text and image (the remaining pages are blanks).