National Air and Space Museum Archives

Kress Flying Machine Patent and Letter

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0862
Creators:
Kress, Wilhelm, 1836-1913
Dates:
1880-1883
Languages:
English
,
German
.
Physical Description:
0.05 Cubic feet
1 folder
Repository:
Wilhelm Kress (1836--1913) was an inventor, writer, and lecturer. This collection contains one of Kress' German patents, patent number 8706, for one of his flying machine models; a letter from 1883, in German, signed by Kress; and a description, in English, of the flying machine written by Arnold Samuelson (who lists his title as "Chief Engineer").

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains one of Wilhelm Kress' German patents, patent number 8706, for one of his flying machine models; a letter from 1883, in German, signed by Kress; and a description, in English, of the flying machine written by Arnold Samuelson (who lists his title as "Chief Engineer").

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection is arranged by type of material.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Wilhelm Kress was born in 1836 in Russia. In 1864, Kress invented a small elastic canvas air propeller kite and eventually began to work on the idea of a motor-powered propeller driven kite, which he successfully flew in 1865 and named the Drachenflieger. By 1877, Kress had built kite models powered by rubber strands that he called Cocoons or Aeroveloces (Cocoons or Aero-bicycles). This same year, Kress met with Josef Stefan, Director of the Physical Institute at the University of Vienna and Vice-President of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, to discuss his inventions. By approximately 1879, Stefan had enrolled Kress for patents in Germany, France, and Austria-Hungary for his Drachenflieger models. Sometime in 1890, Kress began working on a design for a helicopter that he called a Hubschraube (Lifting Propeller). In 1894, Kress was invited by Octave Chanute to visit the First Aeronautical Congress in Chicago, Illinois where Kress presented several lectures. Kress designed a full-sized tandem-winged monoplane for which he was granted a patent in December 1897. Throughout the early 1900s, Kress worked on building and testing his airplane but, due to financial and mechanical difficulties, he was never able to build a complete, successful aircraft. From 1908 until his death in 1913, Kress restricted his aeronautical activities to writing and delivering lectures.

Administration
Author
Jessamyn Lloyd
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Unknown, material found in collection, NASM.XXXX.0862
Processing Information
Arranged and described (2008), updated and encoded (2022) by Jessamyn Lloyd.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation
Kress Flying Machine Patent and Letter, NASM.XXXX.0862, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu