IMAGE: Illustration from a 1871 edition of The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine showing the French inventor Retif de la Bretonne as he was imagined to look in his “flying suit”, complete with a basket for provisions to sustain him on his, proposed, long journey. The Century Illustrated article is not so optimistic: “We have no definite information whether Retif de la Bretonne ever attempted to demonstrate in person the feasibility of his little scheme, but we may be well assured that, if he did, the experiment was speedily followed by a funeral. There is in the picture a pyramidal elevation of some kind, which terminates in a very sharp point, and stands conveniently near for impalement, and it is probable enough that Retif, if he did indeed make the essay at flying, with his wings and “gingham umbrella,” transfixed himself upon it, and there remained until taken down for interment.”

T-SHIRT: Made in the U.S.A, sweat-shop free, American Apparel unisex T-Shirt. Medium weight and extremely soft, made from 100% fine jersey combed cotton. Available in a wide range of different sizes – prices starting from around $30/€28/£19.

HOW DO I BUY?: Select your country below to buy through your local Zazzle store and so benefit from better postage costs, delivery times, and minimal taxes.* If your country is not listed, fear not, you can shop via any of the other sites (for E.U., the U.K. site is recommended, for everyone else the U.S.), but be aware of the small possibility of extra costs relating to customs duty. Once on the Zazzle site, if not signed up with them already, a very simple registration will be necessary before completing the final purchase.


* In the case of T-Shirts, for some mysterious reason, the prices given by Zazzle for their euro currency stores are a little more expensive than their U.K. equivalent in pounds sterling (by about 5 euro). For those in the Eurozone it is is therefore a little cheaper to buy through the U.K. store! Postage is the same.