Montgolfier, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne


Montgolfier, Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne

▪ French aviators
also called the  Montgolfier brothers 
Respectively,
 
born Aug. 26, 1740, Annonay, France
died June 26, 1810, Balaruc-les-Bains
born Jan. 6, 1745, Annonay, France
died Aug. 2, 1799, enroute from Lyon to Annonay
  French brothers who were pioneer developers of the hot-air balloon and who conducted the first untethered flights (aviation). Modifications and improvements of the basic Montgolfier design were incorporated in the construction of larger balloons that, in later years, opened the way to exploration of the upper atmosphere.

      Joseph and Étienne were 2 of the 16 children of Pierre Montgolfier, whose prosperous paper factories in the small town of Vidalon, near Annonay, in southern France, ensured the financial support of their balloon experiments. While carrying on their father's paper business, they maintained their interest in scientific experimentation.

 In 1782 they discovered that heated air, when collected inside a large lightweight paper or fabric bag, caused the bag to rise into the air. The Montgolfiers made the first public demonstration of this discovery on June 4, 1783, at the marketplace in Annonay. They filled their balloon with heated air by burning straw and wool under the opening at the bottom of the bag. The balloon rose into the air about 3,000 feet (1,000 metres), remained there some 10 minutes, and then settled to the ground more than a mile and a half from where it rose. The Montgolfiers traveled to Paris and then to Versailles, where they repeated the experiment with a larger balloon on Sept. 19, 1783, sending a sheep, a rooster, and a duck aloft as passengers. The balloon floated for about 8 minutes and landed safely about 2 miles (3.2 kilometres) from the launch site. On Nov. 21, 1783, the first manned untethered flight took place in a Montgolfier balloon with Pilatre de Rozier and François Laurent, marquis d'Arlandes, as passengers. The balloon sailed over Paris for 5.5 miles (9 kilometres) in about 25 minutes.

      The two brothers were honoured by the French Académie des Sciences. They published books on aeronautics and continued their scientific careers. Joseph invented a calorimeter and the hydraulic ram, and Étienne developed a process for manufacturing vellum.

Additional Reading
For biographical information on the family, see Léon Rostaing, La Famille de Montgolfier, ses alliances, ses descendants (1910, reprinted 1960); and the well-illustrated Comte Henry de La Vaulx and Paul Tissandier, Joseph et Étienne de Montgolfier (1926). The technical problems encountered by the Montgolfiers and those who followed them are discussed by Gaston Tissandier in Histoire des ballons et des aéronautes célèbres, 2 vol. (1887–89). For a more recent study, see the illustrated Charles Dollfus and Henri Bouché, Histoire de l'aéronautique (1932).

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Montgolfier, Joseph-Michel; and Montgolfier, Jacques-Étienne — born Aug. 26, 1740, Annonay, France died June 26, 1810, Balaruc les Bains born Jan. 6, 1745, Annonay, France died Aug. 2, 1799, enroute from Lyon to Annonay French designers of the hot air balloon. The brothers discovered that heated air… …   Universalium

  • Montgolfier,Joseph Michel — Mont·gol·fier (mŏnt gŏlʹfē ər, môɴ gôl fyāʹ), Joseph Michel. 1740 1810. French aeronautic inventor who with his brother Jacques Étienne (1745 1799) built and ascended in the first practical hot air balloon (1783). * * * …   Universalium

  • Joseph — /joh zeuhf, seuhf/, n. 1. Jacob s eleventh son, the first of Jacob and his second wife, Rachel: sold into slavery by his brothers. Gen. 30:22 24; 37. 2. the husband of Mary who was the mother of Jesus. Matt. 1:16 25. 3. (Hinmaton yalaktit), c1840 …   Universalium

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