194 - Antoine APRAXINE (comte) (1820 - 1899)

APRAXINE was a count of Russian origin and was residing in St Petersburg. 

In 1878, however, he had established his residence in Paris, where he obtained a French patent [1] for 

Perfectionnements apportés aux ballons aériens

which was also the title of the corresponding application for a brevet d'importation in Luxembourg.

APRAXINE was also granted a US patent for his novel balloon construction. [2]

The US patent explains:

This invention relates to improvements in the construction or arrangement of aerial balloons, with a view to facilitate the working and control of the same, and to permit of dispensing, either wholly or partially, with the dis­charge of ballast or gas during the ascensions or descents. 

It should here be remarked that although I give preference to the annular form of the lower balloon, a, this form may be replaced by any other, provided a central space be reserved for the passage of the attachment-cords or other appliances, and of the cable hereinafter men­tioned. 

The lower balloon, a, should, with the exception hereinafter stated, be heavier than air that is to say, that its ascensional force should be more than counterbalanced by the weight of its load, after deduction of half the weight of, say, half the length of the halyard h

The upper balloon, c, should have sufficient ascensional power to support the weight of the cable g and other adjuncts, plus the power required to determine the ascension and maintainment in the air of the lower balloon, a, when loaded to the desired extent. 

The Patent Register contains a handwritten note « refusé ».

Since no administrative file is available at the National Archives, it is not possible to know the grounds for the refusal of the patent. [3]


[1] FR patent No  24,576

[2] US patent No 213,603

[3] The Mémorial of 1880, however, lists a patent granted to APRAXINE which could be a re-activation or a re-filing of the 1878 application:

N° 84. - Le 25 octobre 1880. — A M. le comte Antoine Apraxine, domicilié à Paris, représenté par M. Charles-Auguste München, avocat-avoué, qui a fait élection de domicile, à Luxembourg, en son étude; — pour perfectionnements apportés aux ballons aériens.