'Newest invention - an air balloon being piloted by Adler', 1801.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
'Neueste Erfindung Einen Luftballon Durch Alder Zu Regieren, 1801'. Air balloon being piloted by Adler and steered by two harnessed birds. The use of birds to steer wind-blown balloons was considered realistic by a number of pioneering ballon designers in the years following the invention of the air balloon. The idea of 'bird traction' can, however, be traced back to antiquity.