The air space above Washington, DC may be a no-drone zone today, but there was a time when spies in the sky silently drifted down the National Mall and across the Potomac.
Thaddeus Sobieski Constantine Lowe (August 20, 1832 – January 16, 1913), was a largely self-educated American aeronaut, scientist and inventor, and the father of military aerial reconnaissance in the United States. At the outset of the Civil War, he offered his services as an aeronaut for the purposes of performing aerial reconnaissance via hot air balloon on behalf of the Union Army. His arguments were persuasive and in July 1861 Prof. Lowe was appointed Chief Aeronaut of the Union Army Balloon Corps by President Abraham Lincoln.
Learn more about this remarkable story, which began in the Smithsonian’s front yard on the National Mall.
Posted: 14 July 2016