Beautifully engraved stock certificate from the American Aerial Navigation Company dating back to the early 1900's. This document, which is signed by the company President and Secretary and measures approximately 10 1/2" (w) by 8" (h).
This certificate's unique vignette features a blimp-like flying machine (the California Eagle) over a busy harbor. A man in a rowboat waves at the ship.
Very rare piece.
You will receive the exact certificate pictured.
Dr. August Greth, who has signed this piece as the company President, incorporated this company in 1901 in South Dakota. However, the company was actually formed in 1897 and physically based in San Francisco, California.
The company was formed to build Greth's idea for a dirigible, which came to be known as the California Eagle - which is pictured in the vignette of this piece!
Greth came to America from Europe with some knowledge of early French airships.
It took him six years to build the California Eagle -- an 80-foot hydrogen-filled sausage. Its two propellers were driven by an early 12 HP automobile engine. The engine weighed 500 pounds. He first sent his dirigible up over Market Street on a tether cable at summer's end in 1903. In October - two months before the Wright Brothers flew - he readied for the ship's first free flight.
The California Eagle rose into the gray morning sky and flew about the city. Then the sun burned away the overcast and began to heat the gas bag. While he struggled to maintain altitude by venting hydrogen, his motor died. He finally ditched safely into the cold waters of San Francisco Bay.