'The Car of Nadar's Balloon at the Crystal Palace', 1868.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Printed woodcut from 'The Illustrated London News'. This giant balloon was built by Godard for the French photographer and aeronaut, Felix Tournachon (1820-1910), better known as 'Nadar', in 1863. Named 'Le Geant', it stood 196 feet tall and had a capacity of 212,000 cubic feet. The balloon car was even more remarkable. It was 13 feet long with a balustraded balcony and was divided into six separate compartments, which included a lavatory and a room for Nadar's photography equipment. The longest flight made by the balloon was on its second voyage on 18 October 1863, when it flew 400 miles (644 km) from Paris to Germany. After damage sustained during this flight had been repaired, Nadar brought the balloon to England and exhibited it at the Crystal Palace.