'General View of Paris', France, 1871.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Colour engraving by the Carbote Freres of Brusels. Taken from a topographical almanac, this image shows the air balloon 'Paris' carrying Leon Gambetta (1838-1882) pasing over Paris during the siege of the city in the Franco-German War (1870-1871). On 4 September 1870, three days after Napoleon III had been captured by the Germans, Gambetta led the Parisian republicans to proclaim the establishment of the Third Republic. On 8 October 1870, when the Germans invaded Paris, Gambetta escaped Paris by hot-air balloon to Tours, to rally French support in the Provinces.