'A Balloon Prospect from above the Clouds', 1785.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
One of the first aerial views ever published, showing the Cheshire countryside, River Mersey and town of Warrington, with an 'explanatory print' labelling the route of the balloon and main landmarks. Illustration from 'Airopaidia: containing the narrative of a balloon excursion from Chester, the eighth of September, 1785' by Thomas Baldwin, published in Chester in 1786. In the previous year, Baldwin had made a solo flight from Chester Castle in a balloon lent by the famous aeronaut Vincent Lunardi (1759-1806). While aloft, Baldwin made extensive notes of his experiences and also made drawings of the countryside.