Balloon & Blimp History Photos

After the Montgolfier brothers developed a hot air balloon in France in 1783, this technology of the era came to be pictured in paintings and on decorative arts. Balloons evolved into blimps, Zeppelins, and other lighter-than-air craft.

Click thumbnail to enlarge. F11 to view website full screen.
Earthenware plate with Mongolfier emblem commemorating first human balloon free flight by Pilâtre de Rozier & Marquis d'Arlandes in 1783, made by Faïence de Desvres at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Ascension of Charles & Robert Montgolfier in Tuileries Gardens painting at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Capt. Vincenzo Lunardi with assistant George Biggin & Mrs. Letitiia Anne Sage in a Balloon painting by John Francis Rigaud at Yale Center for British Art. New Haven, CT.George Biggins' Ascent in Lunardi's Balloon painting by Julius Caesar Ibbetson at Neue Pinakothek. Munich, Germany.
Earthenware plate with Mongolfier emblem commemorating first human balloon free flight by Pilâtre de Rozier & Marquis d'Arlandes in 1783, made by Faïence de Desvres at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Ascension of Charles & Robert Montgolfier in Tuileries Gardens painting (18thC, French School) at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Capt. Vincenzo Lunardi with assistant George Biggin & Mrs. Letitiia Anne Sage in a Balloon painting (1785) by John Francis Rigaud at Yale Center for British Art. New Haven, CT.George Biggins' Ascent in Lunardi's Balloon painting (c1785-8) by Julius Caesar Ibbetson at Neue Pinakothek. Munich, Germany.
European wallpaper detail with hot air balloon at Wildwood Manor House. Toledo, OH.Antique French chest of drawers with hot-air balloon theme in Rosemund's room at Vanderbilt Mansion. Centerport, NY.French porcelain cup & saucer showing early balloon flight at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Sèvres French porcelain cup & saucer showing balloon flight of J.A.C. Charles at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.
European wallpaper detail with hot air balloon at Wildwood Manor House. Toledo, OH.Antique French chest of drawers with hot-air balloon theme in Rosemund's room at Vanderbilt Mansion. Centerport, NY.French porcelain cup & saucer (c1780) showing early balloon flight at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Sèvres French porcelain cup & saucer (c1785) showing balloon flight of J.A.C. Charles (Dec. 1, 1783) at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.
French ceramic plates depicting early balloon flights at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Earthenware pitcher painted with two people riding in balloon made by Faïence de Desvres at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Earthenware dish painted with two people ascending in Blanchard balloon with parachute & steering made by Faience d'Ancy-le-Franc at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Earthenware oval plate commemorating Pierre Testu-Brissy who made the first observations of electrical charges in thunderclouds while ascended in a balloon, made by Faïence de Moustiers at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.
French ceramic plates (19thC) depicting early balloon flights at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Earthenware pitcher painted with two people riding in balloon made by Faïence de Desvres at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Earthenware dish painted with two people ascending in Blanchard balloon with parachute & steering made by Faience d'Ancy-le-Franc at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Earthenware oval plate commemorating Pierre Testu-Brissy who made the first observations of electrical charges in thunderclouds while ascended in a balloon, made by Faïence de Moustiers (Féraud) at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.
Earthenware Bon Voyage plate painted with person in hot air balloon made by Faience de l'Est at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.French ceramic plates depicting early flights of Bernier & flying man Godwin at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.French porcelain cup & saucer with image of hot air balloon at Orleans Beaux Arts Museum. Orleans, France.French porcelain cup with image of hot air balloon at Orleans Beaux Arts Museum. Orleans, France.
Earthenware Bon Voyage plate painted with person in hot air balloon made by Faience de l'Est at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.French ceramic plates (19thC) depicting early flights of Bernier (1768) & flying man Godwin (1800) at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.French porcelain cup & saucer (late 18thC) with image of hot air balloon at Orleans Beaux Arts Museum. Orleans, France.French porcelain cup (late 18thC) with image of hot air balloon at Orleans Beaux Arts Museum. Orleans, France.
Scrimshaw American sailing ship with balloon overhead at New Bedford Whaling Museum. New Bedford, MA.Russian double-walled beakers one showing balloon flight by Nikol'skoye of Bakhmetiev Crystal Works at Corning Museum of Glass. Corning, NY.Russian double-walled beaker showing balloon flight by Bakhmetiev Crystal Works at Corning Museum of Glass. Corning, NY.French blown glass with balloon shapes & themes at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.
Scrimshaw American sailing ship with balloon overhead at New Bedford Whaling Museum. New Bedford, MA.Russian double-walled beakers (1814 & 1800-20) one showing balloon flight by Nikol'skoye of Bakhmetiev Crystal Works at Corning Museum of Glass. Corning, NY.Russian double-walled beaker (1814) showing balloon flight by Bakhmetiev Crystal Works at Corning Museum of Glass. Corning, NY.French blown glass (19th C) with balloon shapes & themes at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.
American ceramic pitcher with gas balloon at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Gambetta's departure by balloon "Armand-Barbès" Oct. 7, 1870, painting by Jules Didier & Jacques Guiaud depicting Interior Minister Gambetta departing in a balloon to survey the Prussian forces surrounding Paris at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Medal souvenir of balloon over Paris from Universal Exposition of Paris by Charles Trotin at Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain.French conscription number lithograph showing early WWI planes & balloons at Army Museum at Les Invalides. Paris, France.
American ceramic pitcher (19th C) with gas balloon at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Gambetta's departure by balloon "Armand-Barbès" Oct. 7, 1870, painting by Jules Didier & Jacques Guiaud depicting Interior Minister Gambetta departing in a balloon to survey the Prussian forces surrounding Paris at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Medal souvenir of balloon over Paris from Universal Exposition of Paris (1878) by Charles Trotin at Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya. Barcelona, Spain.French conscription number lithograph showing early WWI planes & balloons at Army Museum at Les Invalides. Paris, France.
Defense Against the last WWI Zeppelin Raid on Paris, Night of Aug 29/30, 1916 painting by Maurice Bourguignon at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Piece of wreckage of WW-I German Zeppelin LZ85 at Canadian Museum of Flight. Langley, BC.Basket of Caquot Type R observation balloon where observers could see 40 miles at National Museum of USAF. Dayton, OH.Caquot Type R tethered observation balloon at National Museum of USAF. Dayton, OH.
Defense Against the last WWI Zeppelin Raid on Paris, Night of Aug 29/30, 1916 painting (1916) by Maurice Bourguignon at Carnavalet Museum. Paris, France.Piece of wreckage of WW-I German Zeppelin LZ85 (1916) at Canadian Museum of Flight. Langley, BC.Basket of Caquot Type R observation balloon where observers could see 40 miles at National Museum of USAF. Dayton, OH.Caquot Type R tethered observation balloon (1918-9 & 1944) at National Museum of USAF. Dayton, OH.
Airship R29 propeller, control panel & control wheel at National Museum of Flight. East Fortune, Scotland.Model of airship R34 first to cross the Atlantic in 1919 starting from East Fortune at National Museum of Flight. East Fortune, Scotland.Monument to R34 airship, first to cross Atlantic left East Fortune July 2, 1919 & arrived in Mineola, Long Island on July 13 at National Museum of Flight. East Fortune, Scotland.Model of French dirigible Astra-Torres AT-4 at Musée de la Marine. Paris, France.
Airship R29 propeller, control panel & control wheel at National Museum of Flight. East Fortune, Scotland.Model of airship R34 first to cross the Atlantic in 1919 starting from East Fortune at National Museum of Flight. East Fortune, Scotland.Monument to R34 airship, first to cross Atlantic left East Fortune July 2, 1919 & arrived in Mineola, Long Island on July 13 at National Museum of Flight. East Fortune, Scotland.Model of French dirigible Astra-Torres AT-4 (1917-20) at Musée de la Marine. Paris, France.
Former US Navy blimp hanger now Tillamook Air Museum. Tillamook, OR.Tillamook Air Museum in former US Navy hanger once housed 9 blimps. Tillamook, OR.Interior of Tillamook Air Museum in wooden US Navy blimp hanger. Tillamook, OR.Helium pumping room once used for blimps at hanger, now Tillamook Air Museum. Tillamook, OR.
Former US Navy blimp hanger (1942) (wood 1,000 ft long) now Tillamook Air Museum. Tillamook, OR.Tillamook Air Museum in former US Navy hanger once housed 9 blimps. Tillamook, OR.Interior of Tillamook Air Museum in wooden US Navy blimp hanger. Tillamook, OR.Helium pumping room once used for blimps at hanger, now Tillamook Air Museum. Tillamook, OR.
Macon & Akron Navy blimp medal at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.US Navy blimp match books at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.Radio transmitter as used by US Navy blimps at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.Graf Zeppelin Lakehurst Landing Crew ID badge at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.
Macon & Akron Navy blimp medal (1931-33) at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.US Navy (N.A.S.T.) blimp match books at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.Radio transmitter as used by US Navy (N.A.S.T.) blimps at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.Graf Zeppelin Lakehurst Landing Crew ID badge at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.
Graf Zeppelin over port of Hamburg painting by Erich Kips at Hamburg History Museum. Hamburg, Germany.Portrait of Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin German airship designer in International Aerospace Hall of Fame. San Diego, CA.German Graf Zeppelin freight parcel shipped via Lakewood, NJ at Canadian Museum of Flight. Langley, BC.Coffee cup from Zeppelin airship, Pima Air & Space Museum. Tucson, AZ.
Graf Zeppelin over port of Hamburg painting (1931) by Erich Kips at Hamburg History Museum. Hamburg, Germany.Portrait of Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin (1829-1917) German airship designer in International Aerospace Hall of Fame. San Diego, CA.German Graf Zeppelin freight parcel shipped via Lakewood, NJ at Canadian Museum of Flight. Langley, BC.Porcelain coffee cup from German Zeppelin airship, Pima Air & Space Museum. Tucson, AZ.
Egg cup from Zeppelin airship, Pima Air & Space Museum. Tucson, AZ.German cup & saucer from Graf Zeppelin at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.German cup & saucer recovered from Hindenburg at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Replica Hindenburg dinner place setting made for Hollywood film at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.
Egg cup from German Zeppelin airship, Pima Air & Space Museum. Tucson, AZ.German cup & saucer (1930s) from Graf Zeppelin at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.German cup & saucer (1930s) recovered from Hindenburg at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Replica Hindenburg dinner place setting made for Hollywood film at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.
Goodyer blimp belt buckle at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.Gondola from Goodyear blimp at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Erector toy blimp at The Strong National Museum of Play. Rochester, NY.Zippy Zepps Air Game by Alderman, Fairchild, Rochester, NY based on public interest in the Zeppelin flights of that era at The Strong National Museum of Play. Rochester, NY.
Goodyer blimp belt buckle (1974) at Tillamook Pioneer Museum. Tillamook, OR.Gondola from Goodyear blimp at National Air & Space Museum. Chantilly, VA.Erector toy blimp at The Strong National Museum of Play. Rochester, NY.Zippy Zepps Air Game (c1920's) by Alderman, Fairchild, Rochester, NY based on public interest in the Zeppelin flights of that era at The Strong National Museum of Play. Rochester, NY.
Navy blimp display at March Field Air Museum. Riverside, CA.Sanyo blimp over San Diego. San Diego, CA.

Navy blimp display at March Field Air Museum. Riverside, CA.Sanyo blimp over San Diego. San Diego, CA.


See Also:

All photos on this page are originals by & copyrighted by Jim Steinhart.
All rights reserved. Permission required to use.

CMP