Selections from Hagley Museum and Library's archives and published collections on the history of American business, technology, and innovation.
The Hagley Vault
This past weekend marked a historic highlight in aviation history. One June 4th, 1783 the brothers Joseph-Michel (1740-1810) and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier (1745-1799) conducted the first public demonstration of a new technology. While the two brothers earned their living running a paper factory they had inherited from their father, they both collaborated on scientific experimentation in their spare time.
On this historic date, the two launched the world's first hot air balloon from a marketplace in Annonay, France. The unmanned balloon achieved a height of about 3,000 feet and traveled for ten minutes before landing about a mile and a half away. The two continued to experiment with the technology, and, on November 21, 1783, a Montgolfier balloon sent the first manned untethered balloon flight aloft.Read more...
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