A Beautiful and Mysterious Legacy

Augustus Sherman was 27 years old in 1892, when he was hired by the Bureau of Immigration as a clerk at Ellis Island. The small island in the New York Harbor was the first American destination of millions of immigrants from all over the world, who had left their old lives behind to start over […]

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The Montparnasse Derailment

On the afternoon of October 22, 1895, Guillaume-Marie Pellerin, the engineer of the Granville–Paris Express train, was irritable. He was behind schedule, though it was anyone’s guess why, since the train left Granville at 8:45 a.m., its usual time. Pellerin hated to be late. The speed of steam locomotive No. 721 may have been slowed by its cargo. […]

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Clément Ader Gave Man Wings

In 1890, Clément Ader, aviation pioneer, unveiled his new invention to the world, the steam-powered Éole. It was followed by other flying contraptions, like the Avion III. Ader was a brilliant man with a vision – or a nightmare – of what flying humans would look like. And his inspiration came from the bat.

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