Wednesday, 2 June 1909

This post is part of a series post-blogging the phantom airship scare of 1909. See here for an introduction to the series, and here for a conclusion.

Punch today has a number of phantom airship items (p. 379). They're quite amusing (to me, at least) and, in ironic vein, sum up the scare quite well. There's pride ...

We are getting on at last. In phantom airships Great Britain is now facile princeps.

... fear ...

Meanwhile, some surprise has been expressed that, although a German balloon which was taking part in the Hurlingham race attempted, in its descent, to demolish an Englishman's Home near Bow, not a single newspaper mobilised its war correspondents.

... and profit!


Mr. Punch's Meteoritical Department has pleasure in recommending the following protective devices for use in connection with airships:--

  1. THE ENGLISHMAN'S DOME.-- You can walk beneath this portable roof -- light but strong, running on ball bearings, 3-speed gear -- and go abroad with perfect safety. Hang your luggage on the hooks in the dome, and save cab fares. A perfect substitute for the old-fashioned umbrella.

    It will pay you to buy a Dome!

    Mr. T. ROOSEVELT writes:-- "There are no airships here; but thanks a thousand times! The very thing I wanted! Close the bomb-proof door, and lions can do nothing with you. I fell off the cow-catcher last week, and wasn't hurt any. I shall never go out again without one of your Domes. Bully!"
  2. A Cheaper Article -- THE PNEUMATIC HELMET -- for Glancing Shocks. Special arrangements for Heads of Families.
  3. Aviators should note this! THE SPRING SHOCK-ABSORBER. Powerful springs, held in place within our specially designed costume, extending instantly in every direction on being released. You can positively enjoy the sensation of the longest fall, and anticipate the inevitable bump with pleasure.

    Unsolicited testimonial from Mr. WILBUR WRIGHT:-- "Say! I came an Orville cropper to-day, but I was all Wright. I wear your patent suit in spring, summer, and fall. Thought you might like these easy puns."
  4. Absolutely indispensable! Our PATENT PARACHUTE TROUSERS. Expand as you descend. Air-tight seams. Rubber facings.
  5. Try our PATENT VERTICAL ACTION MACHINE GUN, and keep your rights to the Empyrean respected. Easy terms on the Maxim Hiram [sic] Payment System.

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3 thoughts on “Wednesday, 2 June 1909

  1. Erik Lund

    "Orville cropper?" For a moment I thought that was in terrible taste. Then I realised that I have no idea which of Wilbur or Orville had that big crash, whether he died or was just maimed, or when it happened.

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