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Fascinating facts about the invention of the Hot Air Balloon by Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier in 1783. HOT AIR BALLOON
Since the dawn of time, humans have been intrigued by the mystery of flight and the apparent magic that allows birds to take to the air and soar for hours. Attempts to copy birds by building wings that could be flapped by attaching them to the arms failed consistently through the years, and it wasn't until these methods were abandoned that ultimate success was achieved.
In 1766 in England, Henry Cavendish isolated hydrogen, the simplest of elements and the lightest of gases. Since it was lighter than air, he described it as having "negative weight" and proposed that it could be used to lift objects from the Earth, but be apparently didn't pursue the idea.

In 1782 in France, Joseph Michel Montgolfier filled a silk bag with hot air which, being less dense than the air around it, lifted the bag to the high ceiling of his house. On April 25, 1783, Joseph and his brother Jacques Etienne built a larger, spherical bag, filled it with hot air from a fire and sent several farm animals aloft in a basket hung beneath it.After this success, they created an even larger envelope, and on November 21, 1783 in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris the brothers launched a 70-foot high balloon carrying Jean Francois Piltre de Rozier and the Marquis d’Artandes.

The two men were lifted to 3000 feet, becoming the first humans to experience sustained flight. They remained aloft for 25 minutes and traveled five miles, controlling their own flight by adding straw to the fire. When this accomplishment was widely publicized, the human-carrying balloon evolved quickly. On December 1, 1783, in Paris, Jacques Charles  and Noel Roberts flew 27 miles in the first flight of a hydrogen filled balloon. Elizabeth Thible, the first woman to fly in a balloon, went aloft at Lyons, France, on June 4, 1784. The first British-designed balloon was flown by its builder, James Satler, on October 4, 1784, and the first balloon flight in the United States was conducted by Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blanchard at Philadelphia on January 9, 1793. Blanchard and the American Dr. John Jeffries had been the first humans to fly across the English Channel, on January 7, 1785. (In that same year, Blanchard invented, and first used, the parachute.)

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
Transportation History   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
100 Inventions That Shaped World History
by Bill Yenne, Morton, Dr. Grosser (Editor) / Paperback - 112 pages (1983)
/ Bluewood Books 
This book contains inventions from all around the world from microchips to fire. This is a really good book if you are going to do research on inventions.

The Kid Who Invented the Popsicle : And Other Surprising Stories About Inventions
by Don L. Wulffson / Paperback - 128 pages (1999) / Puffin
Brief factual stories about how various familiar things were invented, many by accident, from animal crackers to the zipper.

Flying in a Hot Air Balloon
by Cheryl Walsh Bellville (Photographer) / Library Binding - 48 pages (1993) / Carolrhoda Books
Bellville's clear color photographs and informative text chronicle the process of hot air ballooning, from transporting the large, wicker gondola, through inflating the envelope of the balloon to thel anding.
The Amazing Air Balloon
by Jean Van Leeuwen, Marco Ventura / Library Binding: 32 pages Dial Books; (2003)
On June 24, 1784, in Baltimore, 13-year-old Edward Warren became the first person in America to go up in a hot-air balloon. In this picture book, Van Leeuwen lets the boy tell his own story, which focuses more on his passion for flight than on the significance of this moment in aviation history. 


ON THE WEB:
Hot Air Balloon Festival
Team US Nationals and Air Show of Battle Creek.
(URL: www.bcballoons.com/
)
Balloon History
Exploratorium Learning Studio, history page by Paul Jordan.
(URL: www.exploratorium.edu/ls/balloons/balloonhistory.html
)
Hot Air Balloon Simulator
A VRML 2.0 version balloon simulator presented by the Virtual Reality Lab, University of Michigan.

(URL: www-vrl.umich.edu/~saha/eng477/)
The First Zeppelin Flight
On July 2nd, in the year 1900, The people of Friedrichshafen, Germany came out to witness a momentous occasion. For two years a huge floating building had been anchored on lake Bodensee and in this building, the local Count, Ferdinand von Zeppelin had been spending all his time and resources with a small band of engineers and builders.
(URL: www.ciderpresspottery.com/ZLA/firstzeps/First_Zeps.html)
Ballooning Links Page
Hundreds of links to ecerything Ballooning, where to find a flight, where to find a festival and more.

(URL: www.launch.net/links.html)
History of the Hot Air Balloon
Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier developed their first hot-air balloon in 1783. This is a ThinkQuest project site.
(URL: www.thinkquest.org/library/lib/site_sum_outside.html?tname=28629&url=28629/page22.html)
Hot Air Ballooning
Answers to questions about the sport of ballooning. You can learn alot about balloons flight.

(URL: www.launch.net/faq.html
)

HOW IT WORKS:
Blowin' in the Wind
Balloooning page by Tom Harris at How Stuff Works. Lots of COOKIES and POP-UP ADS.
 

Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised March, 2005.
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