Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet

Balloon Mania


On August 27, 1783, the skies above the French commune of Gonesse were briefly darkened by a floating figure. The peasants, filled with fear by the unusual sight, shot down the hovering object and attacked it with pitchforks because they believed it was a monster. The “monster” was actually a hot air balloon. This scene of armed farmers surrounding a deflated balloon is one of the vignettes depicted on Le Ballon de Gonesse, a commemorative textile that captures the popularity of balloons in late eighteenth-century France. 
hot air balloons, Jean-Baptiste Marie Huet