An advertisement for the Panorama, Leicester Square, London: showing the battle of Trafalgar. Coloured engraving by Lane, after H. A. Barker, 1806.

The view from a balloon was very different from the “bird’s eye perspective” portrayed in eighteenth-century drawings.

And here began that peculiar panoramic effect which is the distinguishing feature of a view from a balloon, and which arises from the utter absence of all sense of motion in the machine itself. The earth appeared literally to consist of a long series of scenes, which were being continually drawn along under you, as if it were a diorama beheld flat upon the ground, and gave one almost the notion that the world was an endless landscape stretched on rollers, which some invisible sprites were revolving for your especial enjoyment.

Henry Mayhew, Illustrated London News, 1852