balloon-flight-1783-front-page669.jpgMONTGOLFIER MAKES HISTORY OVER PARIS

The Gentleman’s Magazine

December 1783

Jacques Etienne Montgolfier demonstrates history’s first free flight by man, an ascent over Paris in his newly invented hot air balloon. Piloted by Physicist Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes, they flew for 25 minutes at low altitude over Paris landing a few miles to the south of the city.  The report is quite interesting to read, stating in part, “The machine was then seen to rise in quite a majestic manner, and when it reached the elevation of about 250 feet, the intrepid travellers, shaking their hats, saluted the spectators.” After ascending several thousand feet and soaring over Paris…”The travellers, satisfied with their experiment, agreed to descend; but perceiving that the wind was carrying them on the houses of the street de Seve, in the suburb of St. Germain, with great presence of mind, immediately unfolded more gaz (gas), and rose again, pursuing their way, till they found themselves past the metropolis, in the open fields, where, with the utmost composure, they came down, without having felt the slightest inconvenience….”

81 pages, in near mint condition and bound in green cloth with marbled end papers and gold lettering.  A museum piece not found in the Smithsonian Collection.