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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Sky King: 1923

Sky King: 1923

"Balloon, 1923." The fez wearers would seem to indicate a connection with the Shrine convention held in Washington in June 1923. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Sometimes a balloon is just a balloon

A little-known quote from Dr. Freud. Presumably the design is in accordance with aerodynamic principles. Do a Google Image search for "barrage balloon" and you'll see it's typical.


That just gives me the willies. Why, seriously, would they build it in that shape?

Ain't never gonna do it...

...without the fez on!

Barrage balloon

That looks just like one of the barrage balloons later used during WWII to protect cities, troops and ships from attacks by low-flying aircraft. It never occurred to me that the design was taken from an earlier observation balloon.


You can't say that the engineers who designed this didn't have a sense of humor. I wonder what color it was.

Shriners' Balloon

Views to be Taken from Air

Captive Balloon to be Used in Recording Shrine Activities

Photographs of Shrine activities will be taken by the army air service this week from a captive balloon at an altitude of 3,000 feet. The balloon will be sent up on a cable in the rear of the State, War and Navy building this morning.

Lieut. George S. Creesey, Eighteenth Airship Company, of Aberdeen, Md., will be in charge. He will have 20 men under his direction.

Washington Post, Jun 5, 1923

Dave, did you peek at the Washington Post archives before posting your comment drawing attention to possible connections with the Shriners? If not, it was an inspired guess.

[There was slight peekage, yes. - Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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