Throwback Thursday: Stratospheric Balloon Crash

Happy #Throwback Thursday from Nebraska Memories!

This week, we have a 10″x8″ black and white photograph of a stratospheric balloon crash. The crash happened fifteen miles northwest of Holdrege, Nebraska and briefly held the interest of the whole country. Captain Albert W. Stevens, Captain Orvil A. Anderson, and Major Kepner all parachuted to safety. The flight, sponsored in part by the National Geographic Society, was made for high altitude exploration and originated in Rapid City, South Dakota, reaching heights of 60,000 feet over Gothenberg, Nebraska. At least 5,000 spectators were held back by ropes.

This image is published by the Holdrege Area Public Library and is owned by the Phelps County Historical Society. The Holdrege Area Public Library partnered with the Phelps County Historical Society to digitize a collection of images portraying the history of Phelps County since the mid 1800’s. A 2008 LSTA grant funded the project. Check out the whole collection on the Nebraska Memories archive.

Nebraska Memories is brought to you by the Nebraska Library Commission. It is a cooperative project to digitize Nebraska-related historical and cultural heritage materials and make them available to researchers of all ages via the Internet. If your institution is interested in participating in this project, see for more information.

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