Frederick Nelson Atwood Ledger
The Frederick Nelson Atwood Ledger consists of one ledger book created by Atwood, circa 1862-1880, with his handwritten notes and illustrations.
The ledger measures 15x6" and has a marbled paper cover with leather corners and binding. The ledger binding is not intact; the cover boards are still extant, though detached, and the pages are loose. There are 273 numbered pages, some of which have tears or frayed edges. The ink on some pages has faded significantly.
The ledger is primarily comprised of Atwood's varied notes and writings. These consist of cash account records; journals of his art projects and commissions; poems and commentary on the Civil War; notes for art techniques such as marbling; recipes for art media such as varnishes; listings of fish prices at Atwood Company fish market in Roxbury, Massachusetts in 1862; and other poems and essays by Atwood. Several pages at the beginning have clippings of poems pasted in. There are additionally some cartoon-like illustrations of a poem.
Of most interest to Museum of Flight researchers are the illustrations at the end of the ledger of airships and balloons. The illustrations depict Atwood's designs for airships with detailed notes on their components. One is in the shape of a fish and is titled "Neptune." There is one sketch of the "Star Spangled Banner" hot air balloon. There is also an essay entitled "To invent or not to invent: A Ship to Sail the Celestial Ocean."