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John G. Doughty

The son of photographer Thomas M. V. Doughty, John G. Doughty was born in Winchester, Connecticut in 1858. He also took up photography as a vocation, and in 1885 began what became a series of landmark aerial trips with balloon (air-ship) builder Alfred E. Moore, and H. Allen Hazen of the United States Signal Service Station at Washington. Of the first ascension on July 29, 1885, Mr. Doughty recalled, "No one who ever thinks of making an ascension can possibly dread the experience more than I did, and... the revulsion of feeling which took place when the ascension was made, and I at last found myself where I had feared to be -- higher than the clouds!" During the first trip, Mr. Doughty took several pictures of landscapes and clouds; a task made extremely challenging because of the balloon's revolving motion.

Less than satisfied with the overall quality of his photographs, Mr. Doughty and his team quickly arranged a second ascension on September 2, but because of the weakness of light at that time of year, despite preferable weather conditions, the date was changed to October 16, a day which Mr. Doughty remarked, "was all we could wish, with the exception of the considerable haze in the atmosphere." With gentle southwesterly winds and a proper balance of light and shade, he was able to take some breathtaking photographs even at an altitude in excess of 3,000 feet.

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2012-12-31 08:29:17
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