'Fete of the Emperor', 1852-1870.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Printed woodcut from 'The Illustrated London News' showing the scene at the Champs Elysees in Paris during a fete held in honour of the French Emperor Napoleon III (1808-1873), who declared himself of President of the Second Republic in 1852. A balloon carrying a golden eagle with the letter 'N' underneath is seen ascending above the crowds. Balloons formed a prominent feature at the fetes of Paris, where they were used to celebrate important events of the Revolution and the Napoleonic Empire.