воскресенье, 23 мая 2010 г.


In 1783, the most popular man in Europe was the United States ambassador to France, Benjamin Franklin. Franklin with his calm eyes peering through the bifocals of his own invention, projected great learning and fame and captivated the people's imagination. He was always leaving his post at the embassy to watch the trials of a new invention called the air balloon.n November 21 1783, Benjamin Franklin arrived at the gardens of the King's hunting lodge in the Bois de Boulogne, on the outskirts of Paris, to witness an experiment. Two daring Frenchmen, Pilatre de Rozier of the Royal Academy and his friend the Marquis d'Arlandes, were planning to ascend in a Montgolfier air balloon, the first men in history to do so. The crowds gathered to witness the event opened a lane for Benjamin Franklin to pass.

At six minutes to two the aeronauts entered the car of their balloon; and, at a height of two hundred and seventy feet, waved their hats and saluted the applauding spectators. Then the wind carried them away towards Paris. About half a mile from the starting point, the balloon began to descend over the River Seine; but when they fed the fire under their sack of hot air with chopped straw they rose to the elevation of five hundred feet. Safely across the river they dampened the fire with a sponge and made a gentle descent in Paris.