Burning of the balloon of Miolan and Janinet, Paris, 11 July 1784.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Satirical engraving showing the fate of French abbots Miolan and Janinet's balloon. They were ridiculed for their failed ascent from the Jardin de Luxembourg. They had sold tickets to the event and crowds had gathered from six in the morning. 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 escaped unharmed, but the damage to their reputations was irreparable, and many lampoons and caricatures emerged shortly after. Illustration from 'Histoire des ballons et des aeronautes celebres: 1783-1800' (History of balloons and famous aeronauts), by Gaston Tisandier (1843-1899), published in 1887.