1783 engraving of Montgolfiers' balloon

1783 engraving of Montgolfiers' balloon

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Montgolfiers' balloon. Engraving of a Montgolfier brothers' hot air balloon beginning a flight from outside the Palace of Versailles in Paris, France on 19 September 1783. The balloon was built by the French brothers Joseph (1740-1810) and Etienne (1745-99) Montgolfier. It was made of paper- covered cloth and was lifted by hot air from an on-board stove burning wool and straw. Reports of the first Montgolfier balloon flight in June 1783 had caused a sensation in Paris. The September flight shown here was observed by King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Benjamin Franklin and a crowd of Parisians. The balloon carried a sheep, a duck and a cockerel in a cage, which were safely recovered.

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