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Article: Samuel Archer King

Samuel Archer King

Samuel Archer King was borin on April 9th, 1828 in Tinicum Township, Pennsylvaniat.

Samuel, like many young boys, liked to climb trees and anything he could in order to see out as far as possible.

But, how to see farther was a problem.

The History of Flight

Leonardo da Vinci was called upon by the Milanese court to work on military technology. He filled numerous notebooks with countless sketches of military weapons, machines and fortifications.

As a close observer of nature he was naturally drawn to the natural flight of birds.

By 1505 Leonardo had begun a serious study of bird flight which he recorded in the Codex on the Flight of Birds.

In the Codex da Vinci discusses the relationship between a bird's center of gravity and the lifting power of a bird's wings.

In fewer than 20 pages of notes and drawings in the Codex his observations and drawings would eventually find a place in the development of airplanes in the 20th century.

But first, man had to get in the air.

The History of Ballooning

The desire to fly had occupied men for very a very long time, and the first free flight carrying a human into the atmosphere occurred in Paris, France by the Mongolfier brothers on November 21, 1783.

They had constructed a hot air balloon of silk and paper which was filled with hot air generated by hand fed fires on either side of the balloon.

This flight ascended to around 500 feet and whisked away approximately 5 1/2 miles before safely landing some 30 minutes later.

Ten days later Jacques Alexander Charles, a physicist, and Nicholad Louis Robert flew a balloon filed with hydrogen generated by mixing sulphuric acid and iron filings.

Gas filled balloons soon became the most popular way of air travel for aeronauts (balloonists).

Samuel Archer King

By September 25th, 1851 Samuel Archer King finally achieved his first flight in a balloon using hydrogen gas, but because he had only a small amount of the gas for the flight it proved an exciting flight.

It didn't get very high!

His balloon dragged King through the tree tops near Philadelphia, down the Schuylkill River and over a dam until he finally settled on terra firma.

His second attempt, however, was far more successful.

This flight carried King from Philadelphia far into New Jersey.

Over the ensuing years he made numerous ascensions and became quite famous for his ballooning adventures.

King's Scientific Interests

King was convinced the study of meteorology should be studied with balloon flights.

In 1872 he made a number of ascensions with officers of the U.S. Signal Service, and the results were published in the Journal of the U.S. Signal Service.

In all, King made over 450 voyages through the air in balloons, and over that time travelled over all of the continental US east of the Mississippi River, and a lot of the territory west of that river.

By the time he died he was the world's oldest balloonist.

The Archer

As Randolph Engineering sought to expand their sunglasses to the general public after success supplying the military with sunglasses, the company began naming these new civilian models after famous aviators.

And thus "The Archer" was born:

Inspired by Samuel Archer King's exploits, this sleek design features a dipped brow bar with larger wrapped lenses compared to the iconic Ranolph Aviator.

This style is perfect for those with large or wide heads.

Check them out here: Randolph Archer Sunglasses

In the meantime, keep your eyes safe and focused on what's ahead of you Hersch!


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