Fact File: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Invention: Hot Air Balloon *** Date of Invention: 1783 *** Name of Inventors: Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier *** Nationality of Inventors: French *** Historical Period: Industrial Revolution (1700 - 1860) *** Category: Transportation *** Country of Origin: France *** The Inventors and Invention of the Hot Air Balloon ***
Fact 1: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The Hot Air Balloon was invented by Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier
in 1783 during the Industrial Revolution era of inventions (1700 - 1860).
Fact 2: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Prior to the invention of
the Hot Air Balloon in 1783, men had dreamt of being able to fly through the
air. The Ancient Chinese invented paper and used this to create their famous
spherical paper lanterns.
Fact 3: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The Chinese went on to fill
the small paper lanterns with hot air which caused the 'sky lanterns', made from
oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, to float in the sky. Chinese Sky Lanterns
were used for military signalling during the Three Kingdoms Period (220-280AD).
Fact 4: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? European chronicles detail the
use of hot-air balloons, shaped like dragons, either for signalling or as
standards by Mongol invaders at the Battle of Liegnitz in 1241.
Fact 5: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The Italian Renaissance genius
Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) designed flying machines including the Ornithopter,
a helicopter and a light hang glider but although he understood the rising force
of hot air - he never thought of creating a hot air balloon.
Fact 6: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? In 1709 Bartolomeu Lourenco de
Gusmao, a Brazilian priest and inventor, experimented with creating the first
unmanned airships, which he demonstrated to the Portuguese court. Most of the
Bartolomeu Lourenco de Gusmao airships were uncontrollable and went up in
flames. Nearly 75 years would pass until Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier would
invent the hot air balloon in 1783.
Fact 7: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The parents of Joseph and
Jacques Montgolfier were Pierre Montgolfier (1700–1793), a prosperous paper
manufacturer and Anne Duret (1701–1760). The brothers were two of the sixteen children in the Montgolfier family and were
raised in in Annonay, in Ardeche, France.
Fact 8: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The inspirational, careless and
energetic Joseph Montgolfier was the eldest of the two famous brothers and was born on
August 26, 1740. The serious, efficient and businesslike Jacques Montgolfier was born on
January 6, 1745.
Fact 9: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The Montgolfier brothers were
both well educated. Joseph was the dreamer and developed a passion for
inventions and aeronautics. Around 1775 Joseph Montgolfier built his own
parachute, and once jumped from the family house, to
the horror of his father.
Fact 10: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Joseph Montgolfier then began
to dream of creating a flying machine. At this time his sensible brother,
Jacques Montgolfier, had taken the responsibility of running the family
Fact 11: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? In 1782 Joseph Montgolfier had
the idea that would lead to the invention of the Hot Air Balloon. His 'Eureka'
moment came when he was looking at laundry drying over a fire and observed that
pockets were formed that that billowed upwards and realized the rising force of
Fact 12: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? His idea began to crystallize
still further as his thoughts turned to the big news of the day. The Great Siege
of Gibraltar (June 24, 1779 – February 7, 1783) was raging as France attempted
to capture Gibraltar from the British during the American War of Independence.
On September 18, 1782 the Grand Assault of Gibraltar by sea failed with huge
losses to the French.
Fact 13: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Joseph Montgolfier thought to
himself that the conflict would have been settled if the troops could have come
by air. He then thought back to the billowing laundry and wondered whether the
power of heat could lift men off the ground into the air - and the invention of the Hot Air Balloon
Fact 14: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Joseph Montgolfier conducted
an experiment by building a covered box kite from taffeta and strips of wood. He
then lit twists of paper beneath the box kite and watched as it rose from the
table, floated upwards and bumped gently against the ceiling. He wrongly
believed that the smoke itself gave the kite its buoyancy and that the smoke
must contain a special gas, which he called "Montgolfier Gas".
Fact 15: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Joseph Montgolfier reasoned
that his discovery could be used to lift a flying machine in the shape of a Hot Air Balloon.
Excited and astonished by his discovery he persuaded his brother, Jacques Montgolfier,
to repeat the experiment and see the results for himself.
Fact 16: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Jacques Montgolfier was sold
on the idea and the Montgolfier brothers embarked on a project to build a
balloon using taffeta and cordage to build a series of prototypes, starting with
the original box kite shape and then moving on to balloons made from sackcloth
which they eventually backed with wallpaper to hold the heated air.
Fact 17: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The first public demonstration
of the hot air balloon invented by the Montgolfier brothers took place in May
1783 before a crowd of dignitaries at their home town of Annonay. Their hot air
balloon carried no passengers but their spectacular 'flying machine' flew for
more than a mile in less than 10 minutes.
Fact 18: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? News of the flight spread
through France and the Montgolfier brothers received an invitation to present
their discovery before King Louis XVI at the palace of Versailles. Four months
later Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier launched their hot air balloon at the royal
court with a rooster, duck and a sheep on board - all of the animals survived
unscathed and a manned flight was the next inevitable step.
Fact 19: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Their aging father Pierre
Montgolfier (1700–1793) forbade his sons to attempt to fly in the balloon, he
was terrified that they would both be killed. Jacques Montgolfier was happy to
obey his father but his daredevil brother Joseph Montgolfier was extremely
disappointed. But out of dutiful respect to their father's wishes neither
brother would fly untethered in their hot air balloon invention.
Fact 20: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The first manned, untethered
flight took place in a Montgolfier Hot Air Balloon on November 21, 1783 from the
garden of the Château de la Muette, Paris. The flight was witnessed by King
Louis XVI, members of the French court and by the U.S. ambassador to France,
Fact 21: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Two enthusiastic volunteers,
Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier, a physicist who provided scientific
demonstrations to the French court, and an army officer, Francois Laurent,
Marquis d’Arlandes, became the first humans to fly.
Fact 22: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? The Hot Air Balloon was 70
feet tall, a bright blue color and decorated with gilt fleurs-de-lis. The
25-minute flight attained an altitude of 3,000 feet and travelled 5½ miles (9
km) landing at the Butte-aux-Cailles hilltop, on the outskirts of Paris. Jean
Francois Pilatre de Rozier and Francois Laurent, Marquis d’Arlandes survived the
flight and celebrated their success with a glass of champagne - a
tradition continued by balloonists to the modern day.
Fact 23: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? On January 19, 1784 a massive
Montgolfier hot air balloon carried seven passengers to a height of 3,000 feet
over the city of Lyons.
Fact 24: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Ballooning became a sensation
and the Montgolfier brothers soon saw themselves superseded by the exploits of
other pioneers in aviation and Joseph and Jacques Montgolfier returned to
continue business at the family paper mill.
Fact 25: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Aerial
in 1860 when the American inventor
Professor Thaddeus Lowe persuaded the military to use Hot
Air Balloons for Aerial
Fact 26: Who invented the Hot Air Balloon? Jacques Montgolfier died at
Neuchâtel, Switzerland, on August 2, 1799. Joseph Montgolfier died at
Balaruc-les-Bains on June 26, 1810.