Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier and Joseph-Michel Montgolfier (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: The Montgolfier brothers contributed to the invention, improvement, and flying of lighter-than-air craft. Their greatest achievement was their successful coordination in the invention and flying of the first balloon.
The Montgolfier brothers were born at Vidalon-les-Annonay to Pierre Montgolfier, a paper manufacturer, and Anne Duret. Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, the elder of the two brothers, showed an early inclination toward creativity and inventiveness when, at the age of twelve, he glided from the second floor of the family residence to the ground, supported by umbrellas, which he held in his hands. He was sent to the College of Touron in the Rhone Valley from which he twice ran away. The second time he fled to Saint-Étienne, where he developed a new process for making Prussian blue dye, which was used for a long time in his father’s paper-making industry. Joseph-Michel returned to Vidalon to work with his father in the family paper mill but then joined another brother, Augustine, at Rives to aid in the development of another Montogolfier plant.
Jacques-Étienne was sent at a very early age to the College of Saint Barbe in Paris. From 1755 to 1763, he studied science, since he had a particular taste and aptitude for precision and exactitude. Upon completion of his secondary studies, he became a student of architecture and had as his professor the famous Jacques-Germain...
(The entire section is 2001 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!