Italian military hydrogen balloon, 1890s

Italian military hydrogen balloon, 1890s

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Italian military hydrogen balloon. 19th-century illustration of steel cylinders and tubes used to inflate an Italian military balloon with hydrogen gas. The captive (tethered) balloon (top right) is being used to observe enemy positions in a campaign during the First Italo-Ethiopian War (1895-1896) in Ethiopia (then known as Abyssinia). The launch area is shown, as is the horse-drawn cart and winch to which it is tethered. The steel tubes contain hydrogen gas at a pressure of 35 atmospheres. 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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