The Aerial Transit Company
By ACKERMANN & CO. , 1843

By permission of the Patentees, this engraving of the first carriage, the "Ariel" is respectfully inscribed to the Directors of The Aerial Transit Company.

British Isles London
  • Author: ACKERMANN & CO.
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: [Ackermann & Co.
  • Publication date: 1843].
  • Physical description: Aquatint with original hand colour, trimmed to text, with loss.
  • Dimensions: Image: 301 by 418mm (11.75 by 16.5 inches). Sheet: 370 by 485mm (14.5 by 19 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 12459


A print of the ‘Ariel’ flying machine, showing it above open country north of London. Frederick Marriott, a director of the Aerial Transit Company, oversaw the production of a number of prints to publicise the project, often showing the machine in exotic locations. Another variant was produced showing the machine over the Great Pyramids on the Nile.

Rudolph Ackermann (1764–1834), better known as the publisher of some of the finest colour-plate books of the nineteenth century, was originally a coach-maker, for the great and the good, including George Washington, Pope Pius VII’s carriage for Napoleon’s self-coronation, and the funeral carriage of Admiral Lord Nelson. Between 1791 and 1820 Ackermann published thirteen books of designs for carriages. As a publisher, “he was both creative and efficient, bringing to the commercial production of colour plate books innovative techniques and an uncompromising attention to detail which ensured uniform high quality” (Ford).


  1. Science Museum 10426684
  2. Ford for ODNB