I came across the Liverpool/Calcutta connection during my research into the life and work of Stephen H Smith. During 1934 and 1944, Smith undertook around 300 rocket experiments to demonstrate the utility of a rocket to transport mail, medicines, food and living creatures. Similar experiments were being conducted in Germany, Austria, Netherlands and the USA, but in India, for over a decade it was just Smith.
The British Interplanetary Society had been founded in Liverpool in 1933. Smith conducted his first rocket experiments in September 1934 and it was published in the BIS Bulletin in November 1934. Smith in Calcutta joined the BIS around this time and established regular correspondence with the Leslie Johnson, the BIS secretary, in Liverpool. Johnson’s daughter still has a file of letters Smith sent from Calcutta to Liverpool in the late 1930s.
My book (India’s Forgotten Rocket Pioneer) will be published by the end of March 2020 and contains many pictures of Smith, his rockets and quotes from his letters. Some from the Johnson collection but other sources too.I could not include many in the book – so I am sharing some more here. Click on any of the images below to open the gallery viewer.
Some very interesting correspondence… will look forward to getting a signed copy 🙂
Aranya Dutta Choudhury says
I read the kindle ebook, of the Stephen Smith Rocket mail. I am myself a collector o f Rocket mail and other philatelic materials ( like pigeongrams) of Stephen Smith, and hence enjoyed the indepth understanding of Smith and also the various motivation of his, behind his rocket mails experiments. I myself also bought some of the Lady Ezra collection of Stephen Smith.
I wish you all the best for any future endeavours in philately, and would extend all my help in the same if you need any. I am myself thinking of making a catalogue of all Stephen smith rocket mails, Airmails, pigeonmails and labels with pictures, because there are none , somewhere in the future when I have more time.
Thank you for your comment and wishes. Especially coming from an experienced philatelist