The Encyclopedia Americana (1920)/King, Samuel Archer

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KING, Samuel Archer, American aëronaut and scientist: b. Philadelphia, 1828; d. 1914. At the age of 21 he began making balloons in which he took a great interest. This led him to make ascensions himself two years later at Philadelphia. His interest in the matter created interest in others, so that balloon ascensions became features of expositions, traveling shows and other affairs in which many people were collected together. King himself sometimes made ascensions at such places, notably at the World's Columbian Exposition (Chicago 1893). Between this date and his ascensions at the Centennial Exposition in 1876 much had been done by himself and others of his followers to increase the general interest in the navigation of the air. King led the way in the scientific study of the means of air navigation and in the photographing of objects, especially towns and cities, from the air.