Sunday, June 3, 2012

This Day in History June 4, 1783

Here's one I have never heard of before--maybe you have.  Ever heard of the Montgolfier Brothers?  These two brothers were born into a large, French, working class family.  Joseph, the older one, began to experiment with building machines.  He was the one who first discovered that hot gas makes things rise with an accidental experiment.  After he and his brother were able to successfully raise a taffeta envelope filled with hot air, they were ready to begin thinking big.

Yes indeed, they came up with the idea of the hot air balloon, and it was on this date in 1783 that they gave their first public demonstration of this contraption.  It rose to a height of 1000 meters and rode over a mile.  The balloon was made of paper-lined linen, and the segments were held together by over 2000 buttons.  They made sure that it would not catch fire--it was lined with alum to fireproof it.

I had no idea that hot air balloons went back so far, and I would never have guessed that France brought this invention to us.  I have always wanted to ride in a hot air balloon, but I do realize there are obvious risks.  I probably will never get that precious ride, but I can dream.

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1 comment:

  1. This is a neat one! I have never heard of these guys before!


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