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Un Voyage aérien; dans cinquante ans.

 Collection — Volume: 1
Call Number: MS K32


This collection comprises a single manuscript volume containing a novel entitled "Un Voyage aérien; dans cinquante ans," written by Eugène Farcot, a French scientist and engineer known especially as a clockmaker but with a strong interest in aeronautics. The novel describes a fantastic voyage, set fifty years in the future in 1914, to Africa in a large, steam-powered dirigible airship. The novel has 13 chapters; each chapter is foliated separately.


  • Creation: 1864


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Eugène Farcot

Eugène Farcot (1830-1896) was in business as a clockmaker in Paris, France from 1860-1890. He was especially known for his accurate conical clocks, so called because the pendulum bob moved in a circle and caused the rod to trace an invisible cone. Also active as an engineer in other fields, he was a member of the Société aérostatique et météorologique de France, founded in 1852.

In 1859, Farcot published his ideas for steam-powered balloons in a brochure, "La navigation atmosphérique" (Paris, Librairie nouvelle). Five years later, in 1864, he imagined in his manuscript novel, “Un Voyage aérien; dans cinquante ans,” that by 1914 it would be possible to travel from Europe to Africa in a steam-powered dirigible airship.

Meanwhile, Farcot himself made an exciting journey in a conventional hot-air balloon in 1870. On October 12, 1870 Farcot piloted the “Louis-Blanc,” one of the balloons used to carry mail out of Paris, while the city was besieged by the German army during the Franco-Prussian War. His successful flight took him to Belgium, thus making him the first French aeronaut to land in Belgium.

When Farcot died in 1896, his son and daughter were already deceased, but his son-in-law, whose surname was Wandenberg, continued his clock business until 1906. Farcot’s will included a substantial bequest to the Société française de navigation aérienne, founded in 1872.


1 volume : Manuscript, ink on paper, with annotations in ink and pencil. Binding, half morocco, marbled paper boards. ; 19 x 25 cm

Language of Materials


Physical Location

MS K32

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Justin Croft Antiquarian Books, 2015.

Bibliographic references

  • E. Farcot. 1859. La navigation atmosphérique. Paris, Librairie nouvelle. Accessible via Internet at URL:
  • E. Farcot. 1874. Voyage du ballon le Louis-Blanc. Paris, Le Chevalier. Accessible via Internet at URL:
  • Wilfrid de Fonvielle. 1896. “Eugène Farcot” [obituary]. L’Aeronaute. 29, no. 4 (Avril), 75-79. Accessible via Internet at URL:
Guide to the Eugène Farcot Literary Manuscript
Un Voyage aérien; dans cinquante ans.
Finding aid compiled by ksc, 2015. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2016.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Farcot, Eugene. "Un Voyage aérien; dans cinquante ans," MS K32, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States