Display Status:

This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

Collection Item Summary:

This photograph of 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.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Aeronautics
  • Balloons

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

Images are subject to Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum, Copyright and Image Use Restrictions. Usage requires prior written permission. Should you wish to use NASM still images in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Photographs, available at NASM's Permissions webpage: www.nasm.si.edu/research/arch/permissions.cfm




June 18, 1857

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560



Local number


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