1783 Montgolfiers First Manned Balloon

1783 Montgolfiers First Manned Balloon


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Plate 314 engraving by Andrew Bell, Third Edition Encyclopedia Britannica 1797-1803. First manned balloon by the Montgolfier brothers Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Etienne. Elements of construction and the rich design were supplied by Jean-Baptiste Reveillon. The king's head and sun were added to the earlier design of the unmanned Versailles balloon along with eagles and zodiac characters. It was a 60, 000 cubic foot hot air balloon - 75 feet tall and fifty feet in diameter and is the one pictured here. Etienne (and two others) became the first humans to lift off the earth during a tethered test flight in the Reveillon workshop in Faubourg Saint-Antoine, October 13th 1783. On the 21st November, that same year, Jean Francois Pilatre and the Marquis d'Arlandes made the first free flight from the Chateau de la Muette. They flew at 3000 feet for about 5 miles and became worldwide celebrities.

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