'The lamentable burning of Miolan and Janinet's aerostat', 11 July 1784.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Caricature showing the unfortunate fate of Miolan and Janinet's balloon. French abbots Miolan and Janinet became a subject of national ridicule for their failed balloon ascent from the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris on Sunday 11 July, 1784. The pair had sold tickets to the event and crowds had gathered from six in the morning to observe the spectacle of balloon flight. However, by five in the afternoon the balloon had still not risen from the ground and the crowd became impatient. An angry mob attacked the balloon, tearing it to shreds and setting it alight. The two abbots escaped unharmed, but the damage to their reputations was irreparable, and numerous lampoons and caricatures of the pair emerged shortly after. Dimensions: 292 mm x 407 mm.