‘Arrival of H. Blanchard from his 38th aerial voyage at the town of Gross Enzersdorf near Vienna, 6 July 1791’

‘Arrival of H. Blanchard from his 38th aerial voyage at the town of Gross Enzersdorf near Vienna, 6 July 1791’

Jean-Pierre Blanchard became world-famous for his numerous balloon flights and received a rousing reception wherever he went. However, Emperor Joseph II had prohibited balloon ascents and showed little interest in Blanchard’s request to be allowed to demonstrate his contraption. After several failures – at the first attempt the balloon ripped, and Blanchard and his wife tumbled directly onto the spot where the members of the Court were sitting – Blanchard finally lifted off to his ‘aerial voyage’ on 6 July 1791 from the Prater in front of a large paying crowd, landing an hour or so later in Grossenzersdorf. Archduke Franz had cut the tethering ropes as the balloon lifted off. After his landing Blanchard was given the freedom of the city of Vienna. The balloon could be viewed beforehand in the Mehlgrube upon payment of an admission fee.

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