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The hot air balloon has a fascinating history of much trial and error, scientic research and bold adventure. This book chronicles the development and advances in the endeavor and also provides insights into the people who developed the sport--many of whom lost their lives in the process. The book traces the history of ballooning from the Montgoler brothers' rst experiments with a paper balloon in Annonay, France, in 1782, through the next several decades, when the sport's waning novelty forced aeronauts to develop bigger, better and more dangerous tricks. It concludes at the beginning of the 20th century, when the age of the airplane rendered hot air balloons all but obsolete.