John Steiner Balloon Ascension Ambrotype
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.XXXX.0617
Dates:
1857
Languages:
English
This collection is in English.
Physical Description:
0.05 Cubic feet
1 quarter-plate ambrotype
Repository:
This quarter-plate ambrotype made by an unknown photographer shows the balloon ascension by John Steiner at Erie, Pennsylvania, on June 18, 1857.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This quarter-plate ambrotype made by an unknown photographer, shows the balloon ascension by John Steiner at Erie, Pennsylvania, on June 18, 1857. The scene pictured is the first attempt to fly to Canada across Lake Erie. This ambrotype, which shows men ringing the balloon as it is inflated outdoors, is thought to be the earliest dated photographic image of a balloon ascension in the United States.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Single item.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Professor John H. Steiner emigrated from Germany in 1853 and quickly established himself as a daring aeronaut. Steiner's flight in 1857, the first attempt to fly to Canada across Lake Erie, made him famous. Due to adverse weather conditions, Steiner eventually was forced to jump into the lake and was rescued by the crew of the steamer Mary Stewart. His balloon was later found, in tatters, having successfully made it to Canada without its pilot. During the Civil War, Steiner served as a balloonist for the Union forces with Thaddeus S.C. Lowe's Balloon Corps. As a civilian in 1863, Steiner gave a tethered balloon ride to German officer, Ferdinand von Zeppelin, who was on leave as a military observer with Union army. Years later, after Count Zeppelin's rigid airships had flown over the cities of Europe, Zeppelin recalled his flight with Steiner as his inspiration.

Administration
Processing Information
Arranged and described by Allan Janus, 2000, and encoded by Melissa A. N. Keiser, 2019.
Author
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Robert L. Drapkin, Gift, 1985, NASM.XXXX.0617.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Preferred Citation
John Steiner Balloon Ascension Ambrotype, Acc. XXXX.0617, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Balloons -- pre-1900 Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Balloon ascensions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steiner, John H, Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/