FAUJAS de Saint-Fond, Barthélemy (1738-1810)
Description des Experiences de la Machine Aerostatique de MM. de Montgolfier ... Seconde Edition
Paris: Cuchet, 1784. 8vo. xl, 302, pp. 9 engraved plates, folding table.
Contemporary tree calf, flat spine divided into six compartments with gilt roll tool, black morocco lettering piece.
Provenance: Sir Michael Robert Shaw-Stewart, 7th Baronet (armorial bookplate)
"The first serious treatise on aerostation as a practical possibility" (PMM).
The present work is a very early edition of the first contemporary chronicle of the first aerial voyage. In June of 1783, the Montgolfier brothers launched a balloon over Annonay. "This feat, however, was surpassed in September when they successfully launched a balloon carrying a sheep, a cock and a duck, and even more sensationally [on November 21] ... when, after some tethered experiments, Pilâtre de Rozier, accompanied by the Marquis d'Arlandes, made the first aerial voyage in history. They ascended from the Château de la Muette in the Bois de Boulogne, sustained their flight for five-and-a-half miles across Paris and descended after twenty-five minutes on the outskirts of the city" (PMM).
The experiment, which was witnessed by, amongst many others, the Dauphin and Benjamin Franklin, marks the real beginning of the history of manned flight. The account by Faujas de Saint-Fond details both the event itself and the theoretical and practical science which went into making the flights a success.
Cf. Brockett 302; cf. Dibner Heralds of Science 179; cf. PMM 229; cf. Norman 769; cf. Sparrow Milestones of Science 179; cf. Tissandier 21.