Versailles, a place where science demonstrations were performed
Author(s) : Anonymous
Date: 18th century
Characteristics/Origins: Étienne de Montgolfier's aerostatic experiment at Versailles on 19 September 1783 with the king, queen and royal family in attendance, Versailles, bibliothèque municipale © château de Versailles, Jean-Marc, Manaï
Thanks to the Academy of Science, the Montgolfier brothers, Joseph (1740-1810) and Étienne (1745-1799), obtained permission to demonstrate their hot-air balloon at Versailles.
The balloon was released, rose to a height of approximately 500 metres, flew eight minutes and landed at Vaucresson with all the passengers safe and sound.
The king, who watched the ascension through a telescope from his apartment, received Étienne de Montgolfier and expressed his satisfaction. The demonstration was important for the brothers, ensuring them Louis XVI's support, but also for the king because foreign delegations were at the Court that day to sign the Treaty of Paris.