Miolan and Janinet's flaming balloon, late 18th century.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 26cm x 32cm

Miolan and Janinet's flaming balloon, late 18th century.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Satirical engraving showing French abbot Miolan 'Miaowlan' as a cat with a priest's collar, surrounded by barking dogs and an animal-headed soldier with a sword. Miolan and Janinet were ridiculed for their failed balloon ascent from the Jardin de Luxembourg in Paris. Crowds had waited all day to see the ascent, and 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.

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