“Navigating the air”


In 1869, W.F. Quinby of Wilmington, Delaware, invented a new and improved flying machine. Quinby states in his application that his improvements “intended to provide an arrangement of temporary sails resembling in some respects the wings of birds.” Over the course of several years, Quinby submitted a number of different patent applications for “navigating the air.”

National Archives, Records of the Patent and Trademark Office