Falling upwards, p.36
Falling Upwards, p.36Richard Holmes
75. Paul greeted variously by tribesmen. Two illustrations by J. Desandr, 1869. Author’s collection
76. Cover of the first edition of Le Voyage de Babar, 1932 © Librairie Hachette, 1932/Courtesy of Aleph-Bet Books
77. Ceramic plate depicting Jean-Augustin Barral and Jacques Bixio ascending from the Paris Observatory in a balloon being inflated with hydrogen gas, 1850. In the Udvar-Hazy Center, Dulles International Airport, Chantilly, Virginia, USA
78. Poster for two balloon ascents by Mr Green from Cremorne Gardens, illustrated with the great Nassau balloon, by S.G. Fairbrother, 1845. © Museum of London
79. James Glaisher photographed c.1860–67, by Antoine Claudet. © Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Wellington
80. The pedestal monument to Charles Green Spencer, showing a carved stone balloon, Highgate Cemetery, London © English Heritage
81. ‘The Instruments of Mr. Glaisher arranged in the car’, engraving from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
82. Path of Glaisher and Coxwell’s ascent from Wolverhampton to Langham, 17 July 1862, lithograph by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
83. Glaisher (on left) and Coxwell ascending with scientific measuring instruments, c.1862–66. © Royal Astronomical Society/Science Photo Library
84. A replica of Dr Merryweather’s Tempest Prognosticator, made for the 1951 Festival of Britain. © Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
85. ‘The Sun rose, flooding with light the whole extent of cloudland beyond’, engraving from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
86. Plaque commemorating the world altitude balloon record at Stafford Road Gas Works, Science Park, Wolverhampton
87. Path of Glaisher and Coxwell’s ascent from Wolverhampton to Cold Weston, 5 September 1862, lithograph by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
88. ‘Mr Glaisher insensible at the height of seven miles’, engraving from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
89. ‘Path of Glaisher’s Balloon over London at Night’, lithograph by Vincent Brooks, Day & Son from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
90. Three men in a balloon (left to right:) Gaston Tissandier, Wilfrid de Fonvielle, Albert Tissandier, by Albert Tissandier, from Histoire d’un ballon, by Gaston Tissandier, 1870
91. Camille Flammarion, engraving from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
92. Flammarion at the eyepiece of his 9½-inch Bardou refractor at his Juvisy observatory, c. mid-1880s. © Photograph courtesy of Vintage Works, Ltd. Chalfont, PA 18914, USA, www.vintageworks.net
93. ‘Universum’, or ‘The Pilgrim’, engraving imitating a medieval woodcut by Camille Flammarion, 1888, coloured by Hugo Heikenwaelder, 1998. © With the kind permission of Hugo Heikenwaelder
94. ‘Butterflies hovering round the car of the balloon’, engraving from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
95. Gaston Tissandier, engraving from The Album of Famous Scientific Discoveries, 1899 © Hulton Archive/Getty Images
96. Poster for ‘The ascension of the famous aeronaut Jules Duruof’ recounting his adventures, c.1876, © National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution Archives, A19772710000
97. Albert (left) and Gaston Tissandier with their balloons Zénith (top left), Jean Bart (top right) and prototype airship below. © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-ppmsca-02274
98. Wilfrid de Fonvielle, 1880s. Courtesy of Toussaint Coppolani and Charles Dollfus
99. Barometric altimeter, by Albert Tissandier, from Histoire d’un ballon, by Gaston Tissandier, 1870
100. ‘In one bound we pass through the thick layer of cloud’, engraving from Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871
101. Christmas Menu, ninety-ninth day of the siege of Paris, 1870. © Roger-Viollet
102. Letter of 24 September 1870 to an address in Fécamp, Normandy, featuring the aerostamp of balloonists Nadar, Dartois and Duruof. With the kind permission of Roumet Histoire Postale
103. A captive balloon at Montmartre, Paris, during the Franco-Prussian War, c.1870. © Archive/Getty Images
104. Duruof’s balloon Neptune about to launch from the place Saint-Pierre, 23 September 1870 © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
105. Le Ballon, by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, oil on panel, 1870. © Mondadori Electa/UIG/age footstock
106. Le Ballon-Poste. Paris siege poster advertising a weekly ‘airmail’ newspaper, the Balloon Post, containing ‘a complete Journal of the week’s events, and two columns of Private Correspondence’ to be flown out by Ballon Monté (manned Balloon), for a subscription price of 20c. ‘This week’s edition of the Balloon Post gives clear and complete instructions on how to send and receive back Answer Postcards by which news and messages may be exchanged with all the departments of France.’ With the kind permission of Grosvenor Auctioneers and Valuers
107. Letter dated 29 October 1870, rue St-Lazare, Paris, successfully sent by balloon to a firm of bankers in San Francisco, USA. With the kind permission of Siegel Auction Galleries, Inc.
108. The Departure of Léon Gambetta in the L’Armand-Barbès from the place Saint-Pierre, 7 October 1870, oil on canvas, by Jules Didier and Jacques Guiaud. © Musée de la Ville de Paris, Musee Carnavalet, Paris/Giraudon/Bridgeman Art Library
109. Léon Gambetta ballooning out of Paris, anonymous engraving, 1870. © Apic/Getty Images
110. Adapted photograph of the departure of Léon Gambetta, 1870, from The Romance of Ballooning by Edita Lausanne/Bibliothèque Cantonale et Universitaire, Lausanne
111. A balloon from Paris descends near Dreux pursued by Prussian cavalry, autumn 1870. © The Granger Collection/TopFoto
112. Balloon construction workshop at the Gare d’Orléans, drawing by A. Jahandier, from Histoire d’un ballon, by Gaston Tissandier, 1870
113. The projection and copying of the microfilmed siege letters by the Duboscq Megascope, from Jules Claretie’s Histoire de la révolution de 1870–7, published by Journal l’Éclipse, 1872. Courtesy of Ashley Lawrence
114. Le Pigeon, by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, oil on panel, 1871. © Private Collection/Archives Charmet/Bridgeman Art Library
115. Caricature of a defiant Victor Hugo as a hot-air balloon, with his various books cascading from the basket, by Georges Labadie Pilotell, 1870–71. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London
116. Memorial poster of balloon ascents during the siege of Paris, 1870–71, including a call-list of balloons keyed to a map of their landing places. An image of the Norwegian balloon appears bottom right, Prince’s Atlantic balloon left. Lithograph by Grandjean et Gascard, c.1870s. © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZC4-10775
117. Cover page of the first issue of La Nature, with an engraving by Albert Tissandier, edited by Gaston Tissandier, 1873
118. Gilt-bronze medal commemorating the Paris siege by Charles Jean-Marie Degeorge, released by the French Ministry for War, 1871–72. It shows (right, front) the figure of Marianne seated by a cannon, releasing a pigeon, with a balloon in the sky beyond; and (left, reverse) a carrier pigeon returning to its loft. Courtesy of P&D Medallions
119. Monument to the aeronauts of the siege of Paris, by Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi. © Rue des Archives
120. Tomb of Croce-Spinelli and Sivel, killed in the crash of the Zénith, 15 April 1875. © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-70315
121. Title pages of Gaston Tissandier’s Histoire des ballons et des aéronautes célèbres (2 volumes, 1887–90). © Courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
122. Photograph of Fanny Godard in her balloon basket, by Nadar, 1879. © 2004/403/45 Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace – Le Bourget
123. Photograph of Dolly Shepherd, by A.E. Langdon, 1911. © IWM (Q 98454)
125. Swedish stamp depicting Salomon Andrée’s attempt to reach the North Pole, engraved by Czeslaw Slania, 1973. Courtesy of Rigastamps
126. Andrée’s first balloon crew, 1896. Left to right: Dr Nils Ekholm, Nils Strindberg, Salomon Andrée, by Gösta Flormans © Gränna Museum – Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
127. Mongolian stamp featuring the Oernen (Eagle), c.1982 © Petr Malyshev/Stockfresh
128. Nils Strindberg with his fiancée Anna Charlier, 1896. © Gränna Museum – Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
129. Left to right: Knut Fraenkel, Salomon Andrée and Nils Strindberg before the second polar expedition, by Gösta Flormans, 1897 © National Museum of Science and Technology, Stockholm
130. Launch of the Eagle from inside the balloon hangar, 11 July 1897. © Gränna Museum – Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
131. Photo-illustration of the Eagle taking off and clearing the hangar, from Life, 1897. © Photo by Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
132. Photo-illustration of the Eagle departing across Virgo bay, showing the disturbed wake where the balloon basket trailed in the water. © Photo by Mansell/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
133. The Eagle landed on the ice, 14 July 1897, first picture taken from close behind the balloon basket, photographed by Nils Strindberg, 1897. © Gränna Museum – Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
134. The Eagle on the ice, 14 July 1897, second picture taken from further away and parallel to the balloon basket, photographed by Nils Strindberg, 1897. © Gränna Museum – Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
135. Knut Fraenkel, Nils Strindberg and the dead polar bear, photographed by Salomon Andrée, 1897. © Gränna Museum – Polarcenter/Swedish Society for Anthropology and Geography
136. Towel recovered from the Andrée polar expedition camp at Kvitoya, now in the Polarmuseet, Tromso, Norway. © Ealdgyth
Philippe Lesueur, Letter from Paris, 22 September 1783, an eyewitness account of the early sixty-foot Montgolfier balloon that was Launched at Versailles with a sheep, a cockerel and a duck in the basket, all of which lived to tell the tale (and did so in several pamphlets).
‘The Perilous Situation of Major Money’, 1785. John Money’s descent into the sea twenty miles off Lowestoft while gallantly attempting to raise funds for the new Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.
Dr Jacques Alexandre Charles, the first successful pilot of a hydrogen ballon, Paris, December 1783. An official portrait of Bailly, commissioned nearly forty years later by the Institut Royal de France, 1820.
Jacques Garnerin, the first great French balloon showman after the Montgolfier brothers, in heroic profile, Paris, 1802. The modest Latin device reads: ‘Praise the Intrepid Aeronaut who dares to take to the Air’.
Sophie Blanchard, the great French female aeronaut, drawn by Jules Porreau at the height of her fame, Paris, 1815.
Sophie Blanchard in her tiny silver gondola above Milan in August 1811, to celebrate Napoleon’s arrival in the city and carrying his Imperial standard.
‘La Mort de Harris’, Croydon, 1824. The gallant death of Lieutenant Harris, and the mysterious survival of his beautiful passenger Miss Stocks. From a popular French balloon collecting-card series, issued by Romanet & Cie, Paris, 1895.
Tiberius Cavallo, physicist and Fellow of the Royal Society, the first natural philosopher to inflate soap bubbles with hydrogen gas, and the first serious historian of ballooning in English. Portrait by unknown artist, c.1790.
Charles Green, amateur portrait, 1835. Painted in a ‘tavern sign’ style, when the great British balloonist was still Largely known as a ‘novelty’ showman.
The Nassau balloon team, 1836, painted by John Hollins. Left to right: Sir William Melbourne James (Lord Justice of Appeal), John Hollins (artist), Walter Prideaux (lawyer), Robert Hollond MP (seated), Monck Mason, Charles Green.
The Nassau balloon at night over the industrial foundries of Liège, Belgium, 1836. This was the 480-mile long-distance trip that brought Charles Green an international reputation in Europe and especially America.
Charles Green, epic British balloon pilot, painted by John Hollins, mezzotint by G.T. Payne, 1838. The long instrument is Green’s treasured Italian mercury barometer, which served as a precision altimeter on more than five hundred flights.
WRITERS WHO TOOK TO THE AIR
Edgar Allan Poe
Félix Nadar, cartoonist, balloonist and photographer; a radical and inventive spirit throughout the Second Empire, the siege of Paris and the Third Republic. A characteristically penetrating self-portrait taken c.1854.
‘Mr Glaisher insensible at the height of seven miles’, 1862. This dramatic engraving shows the meteorologist James Glaisher slumped unconscious in the basket of the Mammoth while his pilot Henry Coxwell clambers into the hoop to secure the line of the gas-release valve. On Landing they walked seven miles to a country pub for a pint. Their altitude record stood for the rest of the century.
‘Paul is swept away in the Leviathan’. Opening image from Les Aventures de Paul, a popular book for children by Jean Bruno, 1858. The theme of the small boy in the runaway balloon has become universal.
A poster for Le Ballon-poste, the first ever airmail newspaper, published in Paris by Le Figaro, 1870–71. It was flown out weekly by ballon monté (manned balloon) over the Prussian siege lines, and contained ‘a complete Journal of the week’s events, and two columns of Private Correspondence’, price twenty centimes.
Le Ballon, celebrated siege painting by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, 1870, showing the armed figure of Marianne standing defiantly on the Paris ramparts while a balloon disappears westwards over the Fort Mont-Valérien towards the Prussian Lines.
The dashing Major-General George Custer, US Army, 1865. One of the few Union officers brave enough to go up in a balloon. He recalled that he preferred to remain ‘sitting in the bottom of the basket’.
Thaddeus Lowe with his famous military balloon the Intrepid, which made him the leading Union balloon observer of the American Civil War, and afterwards a legend. A modern drawing by Mort Künstler, 1991.
‘In one bound we pass through the thick Layer of cloud’. One of a series of sublime balloon engravings and weather studies produced by Albert Tissandier for Travels in the Air, edited by James Glaisher, 1871.
The famous pair of French aeronautical brothers, Gaston (right) and Albert Tissandier, with their balloons the Zénith (high-altitude), the Jean Bart (the siege balloon) and La France (a prototype airship powered by a German electrical engine).
The mysterious ‘Universum’, or ‘The Pilgrim’, an engraving made by Camille Flammarion to illustrate his book L’Atmosphère (1888), in imitation of a medieval woodcut. It shows the place where heaven and earth may meet.
Camille Flammarion, the visionary French balloonist, astronomer, scientist and science-fiction writer, looking every bit the part aged eighty-two, in 1924.
WRITERS WHO TOOK TO THE AIR
H. G. Wells
‘The Eagle on the Polar Ice’, a photograph by Nils Strindberg, 14 July 1897, which became a ghost-like symbol of the passing of the age of Romantic ballooning.
‘The Eagle’s crew. Left to right: Knut Fraenkel, Salomon Andrée and Nils Strindberg, before the departure of the second polar expedition, 1897.
Fanny Godard, a leading French female balloonist of the Belle Epoque, showing a lot of style and leg, photographed by Nadar in his Paris studio, 1879.
‘A Balloon Wedding in the Clouds’. An ultra-fashionable American wedding somewhere above New York, drawn for an Italian magazine in 1911.
‘Babar and Princess Celeste depart on their honeymoon for Paris’. Cover of the first edition of Le Voyage de Babar, by Jean de Brunhoff, 1932. Perhaps a gentle satire on Jules Verne’s colonial attitudes.
Ian McEwan, Enduring Love, 1997, a novel about fate and fatal attraction, brilliantly defined by an unforgettable balloon incident in its haunting opening chapters, subsequently made into an equally haunting film, directed by Roger Michell. ‘He had been on the rope so Long that I began to think he might stay there until the balloon drifted down, or the boy came to his senses and found the valve that released the gas, or until some beam, or god, or some other impossible cartoon thing came and gathered him up’ (from Chapter One).
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