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Charles’ first hydrogen balloon

Charles’ first hydrogen balloon.jpg Passengers changing carsThumbnailsMontgolfier’s experimental balloonPassengers changing carsThumbnailsMontgolfier’s experimental balloon

The ascent of this, the first hydrogen balloon, was a popular and a memorable event. The field was lined with troops. The curious spectators had thronged every thoroughfare and darkened every housetop. It was an all day festival, inaugurating a peculiarly French science, with French animation. The booming of cannon announced to all Paris the impending flight of the balloon. At five o’clock, in the presence of 50,000 spectators, and in a shower of rain, the balloon rose more than half a mile and entered the clouds. The people overwhelmed with surprise and enthusiasm, stood gazing upward, despite the rain, observing every maneuver till the vessel had ascended and faded from view.

Aërial Navigation
A Popular Treatise on the Growth of Air Craft and on Aëronautical Meteorology
By Albert Francis Zahm
Published in 1911
Available from gutenberg.org