Within the museum at the New-York Historical Society, one object stands out for its shiny luster, intricate structure, and aesthetic appeal: The aeronautical trophy. In the shape of a large hot air balloon made of silver with intertwining lines connecting the balloon to the basket at the base, creating a diamond pattern lay out. Held up by the wings of two silver angles placed on both sides of the balloon, it is definitely one of the most extravagant and eye catching piece of silver in the collection. The craftsmanship is absolutely phenomenal.
The trophy was presented to Alan R. Hawley in 1907 for his world record breaking 1172-mile flight in his hot air balloon. His balloon was 77, 000 cubic feet, and at the age of 38 won his first race. After this, his career boomed, he soon came to be one of the best hot air balloon pilots of all time, and one of the most important names in aeronautics. If you would like to see this amazing piece, and many others like it, come to the New-York Historical Society on its re-opening November 11, 2011.