A ballooning scene on a fan, c 1783.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A ballooning scene depicted on a fan made with carved ivory sticks. The painted scene, in a gilt frame, shows a Charles and Robert balloon floating in the background, with a man and a woman large in the foreground. Jacques Charles was a French profesor of physics who launched the first free ascent of an unmanned hydrogen-filled balloon on 27th August 1783. Later, he and Noel Robert became the first men to be carried aloft in a hydrogen balloon (in free flight) on 1st December 1783.