Edgar E. Wilson

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Edgar E. Wilson
Born c. 1876
Pimlico, Middlesex, England
Died 1933 (aged 56–57)
Chelsea, London, England
Nationality British

Edgar Ernest Wilson was a British aviation enthusiast who promoted amateur schemes for various flying machines, and is particularly interesting for his fanciful proposals of mounting polar expeditions by air balloon and his concept of "ether ships" that would travel to the planet Venus.

Wilson's Polar Balloons

Wilson's Ether Ship

  • "VISIT VENUS IN ETHER SHIP. London Inventor Would Sail on Trip to Sister Planet.", Brooklyn Daily Eagle (Brooklyn, New York): 29, 1913-11-09, http://bklyn.newspapers.com/image/54216509/, "A London inventor named Edgar E. Wilson is responsible for an attempt to carry the idea of interplanetary communication into practical effect. He considers that the planet Venus, which approaches the earth more closely than does any other planet, is the most suitable world with which to open communication, and he suggests that an "ether ship" should be built which shall make the journey. He is now constructing a small "ether ship," which will be sent into space by itself, and which will serve as an experimental pioneer of the one to be afterward built. His proposal is largely theoretical at the present time, and is not likely to be favorably received by practical astronomers." 
  • "An Ether Ship From the Earth to Venus.", Evening star (Washington, D.C.): 1, 1914-01-10, http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1914-01-10/ed-1/seq-11/, "An invention still in the experimental stage, but one which is attracting considerable attention in scientific and lay circles, involves the construction of an ether ship to travel from the earth to Venus and the other planets. The would-be inventor is E. E. Wilson of Pimlico, London, who hopes that even Mars could be reached in time. Venus has been selected as the first planet to be investigated because the general agreement among astronomers that she bears a closer resemblance to the earth than the other planets. Some critics, however, doubt the value of the invention. Granting that an ether vesel could be launched into space and attracted to Venus, her passenger or passengers would roast to death, and thus prevent the world from ever getting a report of the strange planetary explorations. On the other hand, hardy citizens of Venus who ventured a journey to the earth would die of cold. It is also claimed that any vessel capable of resisting the retarding attraction of the earth would rush to the arms of Venus at a speed so great that it would be driven miles into the ground of the planet." 

Letters by Wilson on a Venusian Voyage