Travels in the Air

James GLAISHER

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Item#: 127302 price:$950.00

Travels in the Air
Travels in the Air
Travels in the Air
Travels in the Air
Travels in the Air

"THE BALLOON SHOULD BE RECEIVED AS THE FIRST PRINCIPLE OF SOME AERIAL INSTRUMENT WHICH REMAINS TO BE SUGGESTED": GLAISHER'S 1871 TRAVELS IN THE AIR, WITH CHROMOLITHOGRAPHIC ILLUSTRATIONS

GLAISHER, James; FLAMMARION, Camille; TISSANDIER, Gaston. Travels in the Air. London: Richard Bentley & Son, 1871. Octavo, modern three-quarter navy morocco gilt, raised bands, marbled boards, top edge gilt. $950.

Second, revised edition—published the same year as the first—of Glaisher's account of meteorological and scientific balloon ascents, with six full-page chromolithographic illustrations and dozens of other full-page and in-text wood-engraved illustrations and lithographic charts, handsomely bound.

"In 1861 the British Association appointed a balloon committee to oversee the collection of meteorological observations at high altitudes. A large balloon was constructed by Henry Coxwell, a popular aeronaut. Glaisher and Coxwell made eight ascents in 1862, including some for public exhibition at Crystal Palace. Glaisher employed volunteers to record the balloon's path and its height, and himself made observations every 20 seconds on his instruments, which were tied to a board attached to the basket. On 5 September 1862 Glaisher became unconscious at a height he later determined as 29,000 feet. Coxwell temporarily lost the use of his limbs, but with his teeth seized the cord which opened the valve, and this allowed the balloon to descend from an altitude of 37,000 feet. Neither Glaisher nor Coxwell suffered permanent injury. Their misadventure in the service of meteorological science became a major news topic in its day, a subject of widespread praise and satire, and occasioned a poem in Punch. Glaisher made many later ascents with Coxwell and other aeronauts under the auspices of the British Association between 1863 and 1866… After his relationship with Coxwell deteriorated following a riot that resulted in the destruction of Coxwell's balloon, Glaisher ascended in a captive balloon at Chelsea, and made low altitude observations. He edited an account of his own ascents, with essays by French astronomers who had promoted balloon meteorology, as Travels in the Air (1871). In 1866 he helped to found the Aeronautical Society and served as its treasurer. He frequently lectured and wrote articles to promote the balloon as a 'philosophical instrument' instead of in its traditional form, as a vehicle of entertainment" (ONDB). In the preface to this second edition, Glaisher discusses the recent use of the balloon during the siege of Paris.

Title page and frontispiece rehinged; a few interior leaves with old tape reinforcements to margins, occasional foxing or smudging. Binding handsome and fine.

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