balloonist Eduard Spelterini (1852-1931) was perhaps Europe's greatest pioneer in the late 19th century of this earliest means of air travel. At the height of his fame he was known all over Europe as the King of the Air and Defeater of Gravity, socialising with princes, generals and some of the most eminent scientists of his time. In 1898 he took off for the first of his series of flights across the Swiss Alps, the first man to succeed in this hazardous undertaking. What makes Spelterini both interesting and important are his achievements in aerial photography. He made the camera a firm part of his balloon equipment from 1893, taking sensational pictures of Swiss landscapes, mountains and and towns, the Pyramids of Gizeh and the ancient cities of the Orient. This book presents for the first time since 1928 the most beautiful and spectacular of his photographs. The striking pictures are complemented by essays on Spelterini's life and photographic work. Text in English and German.