Miles-tones

I'm on a Blimp!: 7 Songs Celebrating Lighter Than Air Travel

Today is the 267th birthday of one Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, who with his brother Joseph-Michele pioneered the first manned lighter than air flight. The Chinese had been using hot-air powered signal lanterns since the time of the Three Kingdoms, but it was the Montgolfier Brothers who were the first to send man skyward using the technology.

Joseph, a born genius and head of the family's paper manufacturing business was inspired when he was laundry drying over a fire rise. He recruited Etienne to his subsequent experiments, and their progress would be mirrored by the space program centuries later. First they proved they could lift off, then they sent some animals up to make sure being so high didn't kill you, then on October 15, 1783 Etienne became the first man to ascend in flight.

Lighter than air travel has always fascinated us, so in honor of aeronaut numero uno, here's seven tunes that Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier made possible.

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Jef Rouner is a contributing writer who covers politics, pop culture, social justice, video games, and online behavior. He is often a professional annoyance to the ignorant and hurtful.
Contact: Jef Rouner