'The Ascent of the aerial Balloon', 19 September 1783.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 20cm x 32cm

'The Ascent of the aerial Balloon', 19 September 1783.

Lodge, John

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Engraved plate by John Lodge for the 'European Magazine'. French brothers Joseph Michel (1740-1810) and Jacques-Etienne (1745-1799) Montgolfier were the first to succesfully exploit the idea of the hot-air balloon. This ascent took place outside the Palace of Versailles in front of the King and Queen of France and more than 130,000 spectators. The balloon, named 'Le Martial', was set adrift carrying a sheep, a cock and a duck, to investigate the effects of flying on living creatures. It remained airborne for eight minutes before descending near the Forest of Vaucreson one and a half miles (2.4 km) away. The animals, which were caged in a basket suspended from the balloon, landed safely. Published by I Fielding of Pater Noster Row, London on 1 November 1783.



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