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Early-20th-Century Drawings of Fanciful Flying Machines #SciFiSunday

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Beautiful illustrations that draw on science, fantasy, and art, from Charles A.A. Dellschau on Hyperallergic.

Prussian immigrant Charles A.A. Dellschau spent most of his life in Houston working as a butcher; when he retired in 1899 at the age of 68, he turned his attention skywards and devoted himself to an entirely different endeavor: designing airships and charting the development of flight. For 23 years, he fervently produced almost 2,500 drawings of detailed, fantastical contraptions he compiled in at least 12 large, hand-bound manuscripts that remained in his family home for decades following his death in 1923. Today, the works are scattered between museums and private collections; 23 pages — all double-sided — are currently on view in Charles Dellschau (1830–1923): American Visionary at Stephen Romano Gallery, revealing the rich world of an aviation enthusiast who never flew himself but devoted decades to kindling boundless visions of flight.

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