Paris: Chez Cuchet, rue & hôtel Serpente, 1783.
First edition. Frontispiece (plate 5) and 8 further numbered plates plates partly engraved by Delaunay at back , folding table. xl, -299, , [4, Supplement] pp. De l'Imprimerie de Chardon, rue de la Harpe, près de la Parcheménerie, 1783. 1 vols. 8vo (8-3/8 x 6-1/4 inches). The first standard work of an aerostation, UNCUT. In original marbled paper wrappers, manuscript title label, uncut. Tan half calf folding box Liebman-Wahl 978; PMM 229; Brockett 4377-8; Tissandier 21; Norman 769; Dibner, Heralds of Science 179; En Français dans le Texte (French PMM), Number 175; Gibbs-Smith, History of Flying p. 125; DSB, Vol. IV, 548 & Vol. IX, 492; Maggs Catalogue #387, #132. Item #316367
Barthélemy Faujas de Saint-Fond (1741-1819), was a very successful lawyer whose interest in natural history led him to become a geologist. He developed his own theory of volcanoes in the massive folio work, Recherches sur les volcans éteints du Vivarais et du Velay (Grenoble, 1778), which definitively proved the volcanic nature of basalt.
He also was one of the most ardent supporters of ballooning. (DSB IV: 548-9.) He sponsored the first hydrogen balloon of the physicist J. A. C. Charles, who demonstrated balloon flight before the Montgolfiers, and invented the hydrogen balloon. He was a sponsor of the Montgofier Brothers and well as their Chronicler.
This book is the first authoritative treatise on aerostation, and was translated into Italian, German, and Dutch by 1784. The 3 page supplement at the end of volume one describes the ascent of the Marquis d'Arlandes and Pilâtre de Roziers from the Château de la Muette and is the earliest record of this flight.
Faujas "sera pour chaque expérience le témoin privilégié et le chroniqueur de ce qui devait être l'épopée, "la folie des ballons" (En Français dans le texte).
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