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Balloon of M.N. Robert and Charles

 Digital Record
Identifier: VBI_000400


  • c. 1783-1814

Conditions Governing Use

Access to the Theodore Newton Vail Collection of Aeronautical Images, Broadsides and Clippings is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

Biographical / Historical

“The Globe” was a balloon designed by Jacques Alexandre César (J.A.C.) Charles, and constructed by brothers Jean and Noel Robert. It was the first balloon to be publicly inflated using hydrogen gas instead of the hot-air method employed by the Montgolfiers. Hydrogen balloons of this type became known as “charlier” balloons. The ascent on December 1, 1783 was made by Charles and Marie-Noel Robert from the Royal pond at Tuileries Gardens and ended 27 miles away at the Prairie de Nesle. Following their landing, Robert left the balloon and Charles ascended again by himself.

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Originals

Box 19

Physical Description



2 pages; 27.8 x 21.4 cm(page both columns attached to), 19.5 x 8.5 cm(long column), 12.3 x 7.7 cm(column with illustration and notation)

General Note

Article about the first hydrogen-filled balloon ascension by J.A.C. Charles and M.N. Robert on Dec. 1, 1783, with a description of the balloon measurements.

Sources used for Biographical/Historical note

Crouch, Tom D., The Eagle Aloft, Two Centuries of the Balloon in America (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 1983)

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US