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'Tabloid' medicine chest used for a transatlantic balloon flight in 1910, London, England, 1900-1910

This medicine chest was used by Walter Wellmann (1858-1934) and Melvin Vaniman (1866-1912) during their attempt to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a powered airship called America in September 1910. Their journey was unsuccessful. Vaniman died on his second attempt, in 1912, when his airship exploded. ‘Tabloid’ medicine chests made by Burroughs, Wellcome & Co were often given to influential people and explorers of the day packed with the company’s products in a shrewd attempt to promote the product.

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Glossary: medicine chest

Small chests fitted for bottles and intended to hold medical supplies; of a type made in the 18th and early 19th centuries.