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Archives at The Museum of Flight

John G. Doughty Aerial Photographs

Identifier: 2022-04-01
The John G. Doughty Aerial Photographs is a set of twelve photographic albumen prints taken by John G. Doughty from a balloon over Connecticut in September 1885. Doughty's balloon ascensions departed from Winsted, Connecticut and were piloted by Alfred E. Moore. His photographs are among the first aerial photographs ever taken from a balloon.

The twelve images depict aerial views of the towns of Bloomingfield, Hartford, Simsbury, and Windsor, Connecticut, along with two unidentified towns and the Farmington River. Two images depict cloud formations. Two of the prints are mirrored, negative duplicates of other photographs in the set. Also included in the collection is the September 1886 edition of The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine where Doughty described his balloon ascensions in a 14-page article titled "Balloon Experiences of a Timid Photographer," which included reproductions of some of his photographs. In addition to Doughty's article, the magazine also has a 10-page illustrated article by Alfred E. Moore titled "Amateur Ballooning."

Image identifications were taken from catalog records for duplicate prints at the Connecticut Historical Society and image captions in Doughty's article in The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. The majority of prints have some fading, discoloration or losses along the edges.


  • 1885-1886


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


.38 Cubic Feet (1 flat print box, 1 letter-sized folder)


John G. Doughty Aerial Photographs consists of a set of twelve photographic albumen prints taken by Doughty, a resident of Winchester, Connecticut, from a balloon ascension over Connecticut in September 1885.

Biographical / Historical

John G. Doughty was a resident of Winchester, Connecticut in the late 19th and early 20th centuries who took some of the first aerial photographs from a balloon.

Doughty was born in New York in about 1858 to Thomas M. V. and Elizabeth Doughty. His family was living in Winchester, Connecticut by 1860 where his father worked as an artist and photographer. Likely having learned photography from his father, Doughty made a series of aerial photographs from a balloon during September 1885. The balloon ascension was piloted by Alfred E. Moore. Doughty's images are among the earliest aerial photographs taken from a balloon. Doughty and Moore both documented their experiences in illustrated articles in the September 1886 edition of The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine.

According to census records and city directories, Doughty later worked as an electrician.

He was married to Eleanor T. Doughty and they had one daughter, Margaret Felicia. He died in Winsted, Connecticut in December 1910.

Biographical information derived from records on and collection information.

Custodial History

This collection had been purchased from Type Punch Matrix rare booksellers before being donated to the Museum. Previous ownership history is unknown.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Related Materials

The Connecticut Historical Society also holds a set of related photographs by John G. Doughty.


Guide to the John G. Doughty Aerial Photographs
Completed - Level 4
N. Davis
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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