PINGERON, [Jean-Claude].

L’Art de faire soi-même les Ballons Aérostatiques, conformes a ceux de M. de Montgolfier.

A Amsterdam, et se trouve à Paris: Chez Hardouin…1783

8vo, 1 leaf, 42 pages, 1 engraved plate bound as a frontispiece. Modern tree sheep, spine gilt with red morocco label and balloon ornaments, marbled endpapers, a fine copy. Small red morocco bookplate of Roger Budin, Genève, on front pastedown.

FIRST EDITION. This work, in the form of a letter dated 22nd September 1783 from Pingeron to the Marquise de Brantes at Avignon, describes in great detail the first unmanned flight, a balloon flight organised by Montgolfier that had taken place three days earlier at Versailles in the presence of the royal family. This flight was the first to carry a living creature; the balloon carried a sheep, which was presumed to have a physiology similar to that of a human, a duck, which was expected to be unharmed, and a cockerel, which, although a bird, does not fly at high altitudes. The flight lasted about eight minutes, covered two miles, and landed safely. Pingeron goes on to describe briefly the work of scientists experimenting with gases, including Volta, Priestley, Charles and Cavendish. The first manned flight took place two months later. Tissandier, Bibliographie aéronautique, p. 32.


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