History of Hot Air Balloons in Paris

Handpainted silk hot air balloon and French girl in Paris - by Teena Hughes

Recently I was invited to be part of an international hot air balloon festival, and was asked to submit a large handpainted silk banner which represented hot air ballooning.

When I started to research the history of hot air ballooning, I was thrilled to discover the first hot air balloon made its maiden voyage in Paris!

As I read more about the history, some images started to form in my mind, and I started sketching on paper. Next I hand-painted a small piece of silk to check my colour ideas, and when I was hapy with my sample I created a large handpainted silk banner.

The photo is of the small sample piece of silk I painted, showing a French girl and with a hot air balloon off in the distance, preparing for the maiden voyage in Paris.

A little bit of history of Hot Air Balloons in Paris

The history is documented that French brothers, Jacques and Joseph Montgolfier were the local paper manufacturers in the southern French town of Alchemy. When they burnt paper the brothers noticed that the resulting ashes floated up in the air. This got them wondering and they thought that the heat and smoke from the flame provided a special lifting quality. They decided to see if they could somehow capture this smoke and heat to lift them off the ground.

On the 19th of September, 1783, the first hot air balloon – made out of paper and cloth (fabric) launched successfully. Further trials followed with farm animals being used as test pilots :-)

First hot air balloon flight with people onboard!

On the 21st of November, 1783, the first manned hot air balloon was launched in Paris with great excitement, and a dream had become a reality.

If you’d like to take a hot air balloon ride near Paris, I have found one company which is only one hour’s drive away:

http://www.paris-balloon.com | Price : 190 euro per person

If you like my design, I am adding it to several items which you might like as French gifts – email me for more info.