Death of Sophie Blanchard, 1819

Death of Sophie Blanchard, 1819

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Death of Sophie Blanchard. 19th-century illustration of the death of French aeronaut Sophie Blanchard (nee Marie Sophie Armant, 1778-1819). She specialised in in-flight firework displays, and on 6 July 1819, at one of her twice-weekly shows at the Tivoli Gardens in Paris, her hydrogen gas-filled balloon was ignited by the fireworks and she fell to her death. The widow of balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard, she was the first woman to be killed in an aviation accident. Artwork from 'Aerostation - Aviation' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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