German Patent 214,019 to Dr. Hugo Erdmann in 1908 has arrived at last! I had to collect it personally from the British Library. It is of great historical importance, at least as far as the Flying Kettle Project is concerned, because it is the first serious proposal for the use of steam as lift gas; Cayley's suggestion can best be classified as one of the myriad sparks thrown off from his firework genius.... This German patent is clearly and concisely written and goes straight to the point - as far as it goes. No numerical values for cooling or condensation are given, and no mechanism for reheating the superheated steam lift gas is suggested. Dr. Erdmann asserts that superheated steam loses its heat much more slowly than saturated steam, and various other authorities also state this, always in an anecdotal tone, i.e. without quantitative experimental support.... It appears to me to be a most obscure subject - and the steam bible, "The Efficient Use of Steam" supports my view.

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Here is a re-typed version in German.

And here is an English translation, for which we owe thanks to Markus Fryder of CargoLifter.

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