Today is the birthday of the great aviation historian, Octave Chanute. The French born engineer and aviation pioneer was born on this day in 1832. Read more of his bio here. What recently captured my attention was that he wrote a book titled "Progress in Flying Machines" back in 1894. Evidently this became a book that was studied by the Wright Brothers in their quest for powered flight. What captured my attention was a book that was written so early on the subject of aviation. This is one book I would like to own. Would a copy of this book still exist? Could one be found on the open market? Well... this is the internet age... information is easily accessable! A quick search on bookfinder.com and there they are. Reprints from the 1970s and 1990s BUT also some originals! Curious enough to look for yourself? Be warned that the originals are going for about $450 for one copy and $1200 for another! What are these books worth? As a friend of mine once said... it is worth what someone will pay for it.
I like this quote from the book...
"...let us hope that the advent of a successful flying machine, now only dimly foreseen and nevertheless thought to be possible, will bring nothing but good into the world; that it shall abridge distance, make all parts of the globe accessible, bring men into closer relation with each other, advance civilization, and hasten the promised era in which there shall be nothing but peace and good-will among all men."
Maybe I will buy a more recent reprint! I have a few rare, early edition, signed aviation books in my collection. What is in your prized collection?