Egg v. Pauly: The 1815 Airship Partnership and Subsequent Lawsuit

The partnership between Anglo-Swiss gunmaker Durs Egg and Swiss gun-designer Samuel Johannes Pauly, initiated in early 1815, aimed to revolutionize aeronautics with the creation of an airship named "The Dolphin." This ambitious project, however, turned into a legal and financial disaster, culminating in a lawsuit filed by Egg against Pauly in 1817.

The detailed account of this partnership, as documented in the Chancery suit proceedings, reveals the complexities and conflicts that plagued the collaboration. Pauly, residing in Charing Cross at the time, approached Egg with the concept of an "aerial conveyance" based on principles he claimed to have tested in Paris, Germany, and Switzerland. Despite initial hesitations, Egg was eventually convinced by Pauly's representations and agreed to finance the project, leading to a formal agreement in March 1815.

Under the partnership terms, Pauly was to construct an airship capable of carrying multiple passengers and steering effectively, with a...

 


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