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De Montgolfiers
Joseph and Entienne


Immortal French Aero Pioneers
Joseph, born 26 August 1740, Etienne, born 6 January 1745 in Annonay, France. The brothers De Montgolfier, were principal directors of the family paper industry.

Joseph and Entienne commenced aeronautical experiments in 1771 involving inflammable gas, later called hydrogen. On 5 June 1783 they launched a 30 foot diameter linen and paper spherical balloon, open at the bottom to receive heat from a fire on the ground, which rose to a height of 6000 feet and was aloft for ten minutes.

September 19, 1783 the brothers launched the first living creatures -- a duck, a sheep, and a rooster -- on a successful eight minute two mile flight.

On 21, November 1783 they launched the first manned free flight over Paris. Although denied the privilege of being passengers on this historic flight of man, it was their genius and spirit which launched mankind on its conquest of the air.

Etienne died 2 August 1799, Joseph on 26 June 1810.
Elected to the International Aerospace Hall of Fame 1983