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Etienne Montgolfier was a French paper manufacturer. He is famous for inventing an air balloon also known as globe aérostatique. His invention was made in collaboration with his brother Joseph. Étienne was also the founder of the first paper-making school in France.
See the fact file below for more information on the Etienne Montgolfier or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Etienne Montgolfier worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- Étienne was born on 6 January 1745, in France. He grew up in a big family. His father was a successful paper manufacturer.
- His full name is Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier.
- He was the fifteenth child in the family.
- At first, Etienne Montgolfier went to Paris in order to become an architect, but circumstances changed, and he came back home to play a leading role at his father’s business. Étienne succeeded, because he had a businesslike temperament.
- He was interested in high-tech innovations and that helped to keep his family business successful and prosperous. But it appeared that his brother Joseph was trying to create the first flying balloon, and Étienne liked this idea and started to help him to make this dream come true.
- In fact, it all started from the words Joseph wrote to Étienne: “Get in a supply of taffeta and of cordage, quickly, and you will see one of the most astonishing sights in the world.”
- Étienne could not invent an air balloon on his own, so he helped his younger brother Joseph to do it. He was known as a modest, good-looking, and confident person, whereas his brother Joseph looked more like a science geek. Because of this fact, Étienne represented both his and his brother’s interests in Paris.
- Étienne was a mason in Les Neuf Soeurs lodge in Paris.
DISCOVERIES AND INVENTIONS
- Being a great professional in the paper manufacturing business, Étienne opened the first paper-making school in France. Making a perfect duo with his brother, they invented a specific way of manufacturing a paper which looked like vellum.
- He worked for the family business during ten years before inventing the air balloon.
- Being a modern-thinking man, keen to try anything new, Étienne used high-tech Dutch technology to improve his family’s mills and it worked.
- Étienne and his brother invented the first air balloon in the world.
- Joseph was kind of an inventor by character, and Étienne was more of a businessman, and together they made this dream come true. It was great team work.
- Preparing for the first public demonstration of the flying air balloon, Étienne rejected the King’s idea to launch two criminals. He chose a sheep named Montauciel (“Climb-to-the-sky”), a duck, and a rooster to be the first passengers instead.
- He chose these animals because it was considered that the sheep had a close to human psychology, the duck would not be harmed by being lifted because ducks fly and there would be no stress for the bird, and the rooster was taken on board as a further control because it doesn’t fly high.
- All of them flew for 8 minutes, and not only survived, but probably enjoyed the flight.
- It was an amazing spectacle, and rumor has it that the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette watched this beautiful balloon flying high above the royal palace with a sheep, a rooster, and a duck on board.
- After a successful animal flight, they decided to make the first human flight on an air balloon. Technically, it is considered that the first man ever lifted on an air balloon was physicist Pilâtre de Rozier, but actually it was Étienne Montgolfier. Both of them made a flight on 15th of October in 1783, but Étienne did it earlier in order to test his invention. But Pilâtre de Rozier got all the fame.
- A wallpaper manufacturer, Jean-Baptiste Réveillon helped with the design of the balloon. It was an extremely beautiful object, which looked like a blue sky with sun, Zodiac signs, golden eagles, monograms, and a fleur-de-lis on it.
- Air balloon flying became a true sensation those days, and it reflected in fashion: there were balloon-shaped chairs and clocks, and a lot of crockery was made with an air balloon related decor.
- In 1983, both Etienne and Joseph Montgolfier were inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame which is located at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.
DEATH AND LEGACY
- Étienne Montgolfier died in 1799 on the way from Lyon to Annonay.
- His son-in-law Barthélémy Barou de la Lombardière de Canson became the head of his paper manufacturing company, and it still exists under the name Canson. Canson Company produces a lot of different fine art paper.
Etienne Montgolfier Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Etienne Montgolfier across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Etienne Montgolfier worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Etienne Montgolfier who was a French paper manufacturer. He is famous for inventing an air balloon also known as globe aérostatique. His invention was made in collaboration with his brother Joseph. Étienne was also the founder of the first paper-making school in France.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Étienne Montgolfier Facts
- Do you remember?
- You can do it!
- Three travelers
- Choose a flag
- Flying sheep
- Design a balloon
- Who is Mr. Montgolfier
- A friend from the past
- It’s easy!
- Old fashioned travelling
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Use With Any Curriculum
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