Jacques-Etienne and Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, French aeronauts, c 1780s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Line engraving after an engraving by Robert Delaunay taken from an original bas-relief by Jean Antoine Houdon in 1783. Jacques-Etienne (1745-1799) and Joseph-Michel (1740-1810) Montgolfier were born at Balaruc-les-Bains in France, the sons of a wealthy paper-manufacturer. Joseph interested his brother in hydraulics and aeronautics and together they invented the hydraulic ram. They also attempted a number of experiments with hot-air balloons. In June 1783 they succeeded in lifting a balloon over 6000 feet from the ground, which travelled over a distance of one and a half miles. On 21 November 1783, the Montgolfiers staged the first manned free flight from the Chateau de la Muette in the Bois de Boulogne, France. Dimensions: 235mm x 145mm.