Naval observation balloon, 19th century

Naval observation balloon, 19th century

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Naval observation balloon, 19th century artwork. The balloon (upper right) is tethered to the ship below, and is being used to survey the movement of enemy ships and forces. This balloon and its ship are from a naval balloon station near Toulon, France, and both are flying the French flag. The French pioneered the use of balloons in this way, with the French Aerostatic Corps founded in 1794. The ship here is the floating battery 'Implacable' (launched 1864). The ship has both sails and masts, and a steam engine and funnel. Artwork from the second volume (second period of 1888) of the French popular science weekly 'La Science Illustree'.

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