Sky's the limit: balloons
Building on earlier scientific discoveries about air and gases, the 1780s saw successful experiments and demonstrations with aerostats––lighter-than-air vessels that could travel in the atmosphere. By the mid-nineteenth century, the wondrous possibilities presented by hot-air balloons loomed large in both meteorological study and the popular imagination. For scientists, balloon voyages into higher elevations in the atmosphere furnished opportunities to better observe weather patterns. Artists similarly recognized this novel transport as a means to transcend one’s earthbound state and visualize their surroundings anew.