J. L. BELL is a Massachusetts writer who specializes in (among other things) the start of the American Revolution in and around Boston. He is particularly interested in the experiences of children in 1765-75. He has published scholarly papers and popular articles for both children and adults. He was consultant for an episode of History Detectives, and contributed to a display at Minute Man National Historic Park.

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

America’s First Flying Machine?

The 13 Nov 1775 New York Gazette included the following notice:

That plies between Hackinsack and Hoebuck, intends after the Fifth of November Instant, to drive but twice a Week, Tuesdays and Saturdays. To set off from Hackinsack between Seven and Eight in the Morning, and return from Hoebuck at Two in the Afternoon.
As with John Childs’s promise to fly from Old North Church in 1755, this predated the first balloon flights, much less the first airplanes. There was therefore no confusion about what a “flying machine” might be. It was a fast, light coach.

Alas, that also makes the Continental Army’s “flying camp” a lot more prosaic.

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