For amateur historians and trivia collectors everywhere

Location: Masterton, New Zealand

I survived school history despite the best efforts of the education system to bore me to death. Many years later, I discovered Treaties, dates, the movement of nations, are mere context. The fascination is in the details.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Today in 1783 the Parisian professor J.A. Charles made the first manned flight in a hydrogen balloon. This followed the first flight ever in a Montgolfier hot air balloon on 21st November.
All Europe was buzzing about the new technology and English poet William Cowper saw the future. He wrote to Rev. John Newton on 17th November -
"The time, we may suppose, is at hand .... when these airy excursions will be universal, when judges will fly the circuit and bishops their visitations, and when the tour of Europe will be performed with much greater speed and with equal advantage by all who travel merely for the sake of saying that they have made it."


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