PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Plate 314 Engraving by Andrew Bell, Third Edition Encylopedia Britannica 1797-1803. First animal carrying balloon ascent. This is the balloon the Montgolfiers built in St. Germain for the 19th September 1783 demo in Versailles. The cage hanging below held domestic animals - it was felt still too dangerous for men to fly. The prospect of 'expendable' criminals had been put forward, but the King thought that 'no such scoundrel' should be the first to gain the glory of flight! There was a large crowd of nobles and dignitries at the launch which included king Louis XVI. The balloon rose to an estimated 1700 feet and travelled over 10200 feet from the point of departure. The animals on board survived, giving hope for a manned flight to follow shortly. The new balloon for that purpose was built in the gardens of Faubourg St. Antoine (see other in this collection).
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