United States : Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 1902.
H13040 U.S. Copyright Office
Copyright: Thomas A. Edison; 11Jan1902; H13040.
Duration: 2:44 at 15 fps.
As early as 1874, passenger balloon flights were being made over San Francisco. San Franciscans - and Americans in general - were fascinated with the thrills and dangers of flight. Although balloon technology had not advanced greatly by the turn of the century, attempts at man-powered flight were sustaining public interest. The era of powered flight arrived in 1903 with the Wright brothers' flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The balloon used in this film was owned by Professor T. S. Baldwin, who had earlier displayed it in San Francisco in 1893-94. His return to San Francisco followed an engagement at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York (1901). The balloon made headlines shortly before this filmed flight, when it burst it's moorings on November 2, 1901, carrying eight terrified passengers fifty miles south to Pescadero. Although nobody was hurt, the balloon was almost swept out to sea. This film shows aerial views of an informal fairground and surrounding north- central San Francisco from Professor Baldwin's captive balloon on a late winter afternoon in late 1901 or early 1902. Restrained by hemp ropes, the hydrogen-filled balloon rose to a height of 1,500 feet before being winched back to the ground. Edward Dudley is named as one of the "aeronauts" who controlled the balloon, which could carry up to twenty passengers at a fare of one dollar per person. The long shadows suggest that this was one of the last flights of the day.
The following is a scene by scene description of the film: The first
view seen in the film, looking northwest, shows visitors in the makeshift
fairground just south of Market Street between 12th and 11th Street
. (South Van Ness Avenue cuts through the site today.) Note the
whitewashed grounds fences and ticketbooths . As the balloon drifts
northeast, sheds can be seen as well as a flock of pigeons flying across a
back yard . A row of typical 1860s houses lines Eleventh Street and
a group of pedestrians watches from the far side of the street . At
far right is the Episcopal Church of the Advent. The low building along
11th Street is the Siebe and Green Bill Posters Company, with posters
visible along its side . Farther northeast is a series of buildings
facing Market Street; one has a wall advertisement for Nathan Hale Havana
cigars . The second segment  is a high-altitude view
(approximately 1,000 feet) looking north to Van Ness Avenue between
Hayes Street (upper cross-street) and Fell Street (lower cross- Received: 1/11/02; paper pos;
copyright deposit Paper Print Collection.
SUBJECTS RELATED NAMES MEDIUM
Buildings-- California--San Francisco.
Streets--California- -San Francisco.
Aerial photography--California--San Francisco.
San Francisco (Calif.)
Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) DLC
1 roll (202 ft) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. paper pos.
LC 1487 (paper pos)
Received: 1/11/02; paper pos; copyright deposit Paper Print Collection.