Infographics from 1917 on the exciting future of aviation

Scott scanned and posted, "A page of charts and graphs from the July 7, 1917 issue of The Graphic displays, among other things, Lord Montagu's ideas for how to divvy up airspace, the estimated annual cost of running a London-Paris air route, and the distances covered in one hour by different methods of transportation of the day. Perhaps the most entertaining part is its warning that with the coming age of non-military aviation, 'there may be a revival of smuggling.'"

1917 aviation infographic: “Incidentally, there may be a revival of smuggling” (Thanks, Scott!)


  1. Interesting comparison of the capital cost of 100 miles of railway being £2,400,000 against an “air line” of £60,000. It conveniently forgets to compare the passengers and freight that you can carry for your money.

  2. “Emergency landing station every 10 or 15 miles”? 

    Can’t foresee any economic, environmental, political, or geometric problems with that plan! 

  3. I am really bewitched by the illustration. From the concrete mechanics of the plane, to the more expressive  balloon tethers, everything seems to accurately occupy space & convey motion. Very nice.

    Anyone know anything about the illustrator?

    1. I’m afraid I know little about S. W. Clatworthy, save for the fact that he appears to be The Graphic’s go-to artist whenever charts including planes and ships were needed. He did numerous such illustrations in the bound volume I own from 1917.

  4. That’s a really good idea, adding overhead lights to balloons so aircraft can find their way.  Except for the inevitable fatal collisions with the tether cable, I don’t see why we don’t do that now.  Lord Montagu’s certainly thought everything through!

  5. Management is the most significant cost besides the actual airplanes, naturally.

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