and feet while suspended from a balloon]
'Print shows a boat-like vehicle on wheels with parachutes'
Lithograph by H Francois sometime in 19th century
'Ballon & appareil de direction construit par M. Pompéien-Piraud, inventeur'
Wood engraving print by B Arnaud 1883
par lui-même au parc de Mousseaux, le 22 octobre 1797
floating above the Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
Watercolour over graphite by Camille Grávis
The Tissandier brothers, Gaston and Albert, assembled a collection of more than 900 items relating to the early history of aeronautics from various sources. Gaston Tissandier (1843-1899) was a balloonist and science writer. Albert (1839-1906) was a balloonist and illustrator.
"Subjects include general and technical images of balloons, airships, and flying machines; portraits of famous balloonists; views of numerous ascensions, accidents, and world’s fairs; cartoons featuring balloon themes; pictorial and textual broadsides; and colorful ephemera and poster advertisements. There are also several hundred illustrations clipped from books and newspapers. The pictures, created by many different artists, span the years 1773 to 1910, with the bulk dating 1780-1890."
"The collection is rich in images of flights the Tissandier brothers participated in as well as flights they observed between 1865 and 1885. For example, Gaston Tissandier flew over enemy lines during the Siege of Paris in 1870, and Albert made drawings of several balloons that were used to carry passengers and supplies over enemy lines. While Gaston tested the limits of balloon ascension, Albert made drawings of natural phenomena in the upper atmosphere." Together in 1883 they rigged up a Siemens electric engine to an airship and Gaston became the first person to use electric-powered flight.
Gaston, who was a chemist and meteorologist (hence his interest in balloons) and wrote many books, also established the scientific magazine La Nature in which many of Albert's lithographic illustrations were published.
- 450 items from the Tissandier collection have been digitized and posted by the Library of Congress (thumbnail page).
- Background and scope of the collection.
- Biography of Gaston Tissandier.
- Gaston Tissandier at Wikipedia.
- Works by the brothers at Project Gutenburg.
- Previous entries: Tissandier's America & Revisiting Albert Tissandier. Camille Flammarion; Passarola; Albert Robida.
- Complete copies of La Nature between 1873 and 1905 at Le Conservatoire Numérique des Arts & Métiers.