Etienne-Gaspard Robert, Belgian aeronaut

Etienne-Gaspard Robert, Belgian aeronaut

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Etienne-Gaspard Robert (1763-1837), Belgian aeronaut and stage magician. Robert's stage name was Robertson. His illusion shows included examples of phantasmagoria and fantoscope, using forms of slide projectors and lighting effects. As an aviator, he set altitude records in balloons and carried out meteorological investigations. He proposed a never-built massive balloon ('La Minerve') of 80 tonnes to carry up to 60 scientists across the oceans on great voyages of discovery. 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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