Joseph-Michel Montgolfier
Joseph-Michel Montgolfier

Celebrity Profile

Name: Joseph-Michel Montgolfier
Occupation: Inventor
Gender: Male
Birth Day: August 26, 1740
Death Date: Jun 6, 1810 (age 69)
Age: Aged 69
Country: France
Zodiac Sign: Virgo

Social Accounts

Height: in centimeters - N/A
Weight: in kg - N/A
Eye Color: N/A
Hair Color: N/A
Blood Type N/A
Tattoo(s) N/A

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier

Joseph-Michel Montgolfier was born on August 26, 1740 in France (69 years old). Joseph-Michel Montgolfier is an Inventor, zodiac sign: Virgo. Find out Joseph-Michel Montgolfiernet worth 2020, salary 2020 detail bellow.


He and his brother, Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, first flew their hot air balloon on June 4, 1783, at a public demonstration in Annonay.

Does Joseph-Michel Montgolfier Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier died on Jun 6, 1810 (age 69).

Net Worth

Net Worth 2020


Salary 2020

Not known

Before Fame

He began his career as an inventor in the early 1780s.

Biography Timeline


Joseph-Michel was the 12th child and was described as a maverick and dreamer ("a typical inventor's temperament") and was impractical in terms of business and personal affairs. Étienne was the 15th child, had a much more even and businesslike temperament and was sent to Paris to train as an architect. After the sudden and unexpected death of Raymond in 1772, he was recalled to Annonay to run the family business. In the subsequent 10 years, Étienne applied his talent for technical innovation to the family business of paper making, which then as now was a high-tech industry. He succeeded in incorporating the latest Dutch innovations of the day into the family mills.


Of the two brothers, it was Joseph who was first interested in aeronautics; as early as 1775 he built parachutes, and once jumped from the family house. He first contemplated building machines when he observed laundry drying over a fire incidentally form pockets that billowed upwards. Joseph made his first definitive experiments in November 1782 while living in Avignon. He reported some years later that he was watching a fire one evening while contemplating one of the great military issues of the day—an assault on the fortress of Gibraltar, which had proved impregnable from both sea and land. Joseph mused on the possibility of an air assault using troops lifted by the same force that was lifting the embers from the fire. He believed that the smoke itself was the buoyant part and contained within it a special gas, which he called "Montgolfier Gas", with a special property he called levity, which is why he preferred smoldering fuel.

Joseph recruited his brother to balloon building by writing, "Get in a supply of taffeta and of cordage, quickly, and you will see one of the most astonishing sights in the world." The two brothers built a similar device, scaled up by three (so 27 times greater in volume). On 14 December 1782 they did their very first test flight, lighting with wool and hay, and the lifting force was so great, that they lost control of their craft. The device floated nearly two kilometers (about 1.2 mi) and was destroyed after landing by the "indiscretion" of passersby.


On 4 June 1783, they flew the balloon at Annonay in front of a group of dignitaries from the États ″particuliers″″. The flight covered 2 km (1.2 mi), lasted 10 minutes, and had an estimated altitude of 1,600-2,000 m (5,200-6,600 ft). Word of their success quickly reached Paris. Étienne went to the capital to make further demonstrations and to solidify the brothers' claim to the invention of flight. Joseph, given his unkempt appearance and shyness, remained with the family. Étienne was the epitome of sober virtues ... modest in clothes and manner...

On 19 September 1783, the Aérostat Réveillon was flown with the first living beings in a basket attached to the balloon: a sheep called Montauciel ("Climb-to-the-sky"), a duck and a rooster. The sheep was believed to have a reasonable approximation of human physiology. The duck was expected to be unharmed by being lifted and was included as a control for effects created by the aircraft rather than the altitude. The rooster was included as a further control as it was a bird that did not fly at high altitudes. The demonstration was performed at the royal palace in Versailles, before King Louis XVI of France and Queen Marie Antoinette and a crowd. The flight lasted approximately eight minutes, covered two miles (3 km), and obtained an altitude of about 1,500 feet (460 m). The craft landed safely after flying.

Since the animals survived, the king allowed flights with humans. Again in collaboration with Réveillon, Étienne built a 60,000-cubic-foot (1,700 m) balloon for the purpose of making flights with humans. It was about 23 m (75 feet) tall and about 15 m (50 feet) in diameter. Réveillon supplied rich decorative touches of gold figures on a deep blue background, including fleur-de-lis, signs of the zodiac, and suns with Louis XVI's face in the center interlaced with the royal monogram in the central section. Red and blue drapery and golden eagles were at the base of the balloon. Étienne Montgolfier was the first human to lift off the Earth, making a tethered test flight from the yard of the Réveillon workshop in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, most likely on 15 October 1783. A little while later on that same day, physicist Pilâtre de Rozier became the second to ascend into the air, to an altitude of 80 feet (24 m), which was the length of the tether.

On 21 November 1783, the first free flight by humans was made by Pilâtre de Rozier, together with an army officer, the marquis d'Arlandes. The flight began from the grounds of the Château de la Muette close to the Bois de Boulogne park in the western outskirts of Paris. They flew about 3,000 feet (910 m) above Paris for a distance of nine kilometers. After 25 minutes, the balloon landed between the windmills, outside the city ramparts, on the Butte-aux-Cailles. Enough fuel remained on board at the end of the flight to have allowed the balloon to fly four to five times as far. However, burning embers from the fire were scorching the balloon fabric and had to be daubed out with sponges. As it appeared it could destroy the balloon, Pilâtre took off his coat to stop the fire.

In December 1783, father Pierre Montgolfier was elevated to the nobility and the hereditary appellation of de Montgolfier by King Louis XVI of France.

On 1 December 1783, a few months after the Montgolfiers' first flight, Jacques Alexandre César Charles rose to an altitude of about 3 km (1.9 mi) near Paris in a hydrogen filled balloon he had developed.


In early 1784, the Flesselles balloon, named after the unfortunate Jacques de Flesselles, later to be an early casualty at the Bastille, gave a rough landing to its passengers.

In June 1784, the Gustave (a hot air balloon christened La Gustave in honour of King Gustav III of Sweden's visit to Lyon ) saw the first (singing) female aeronaut, Élisabeth Thible.


Both brothers invented a process to manufacture transparent paper looking like vellum, reproducing the technique of the English, followed by the papermakers Johannot and Réveillon. In 1796, Joseph Michel Montgolfier invented the first self-acting hydraulic ram, a water pump to raise water for his paper mill at Voiron. In 1772, the British clockmaker John Whitehurst had invented its precursor, the "pulsation engine". In 1797, Montgolfier's friend Matthew Boulton took out a British patent on his behalf.


In 1799, Etienne de Montgolfier died on the way from Lyon to Annonay. His son-in-law, Barthélémy Barou de la Lombardière de Canson (1774–1859), succeeded him as the head of the company, thanks to his marriage with Alexandrine de Montgolfier. The company became "Montgolfier et Canson" in 1801, then "Canson-Montgolfier" in 1807. In 1810, Joseph-Michel died in Balaruc-les-Bains.


In 1816, Joseph Michel's sons obtained a British patent for an improved version of the pump.


Some claim that the hot air balloon was invented about 74 years earlier by the Brazilian/Portuguese priest Bartolomeu de Gusmão. A description of his invention was published in 1709(?) in Vienna, and another one was found in the Vatican in about 1917. However, this claim is not generally recognized by aviation historians outside the Portuguese-speaking community, in particular the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale.


In 1983, the Montgolfier brothers were inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame at the San Diego Air & Space Museum.

Family Life

Joseph-Michel and his brother were two of sixteen children born to a successful paper manufacturer.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier is 282 years, 3 months and 7 days old. Joseph-Michel Montgolfier will celebrate 283rd birthday on a Saturday 26th of August 2023. Below we countdown to Joseph-Michel Montgolfier upcoming birthday.


Joseph-Michel Montgolfier trends


  1. Who is Joseph-Michel Montgolfier ?
  2. How rich is Joseph-Michel Montgolfier ?
  3. What is Joseph-Michel Montgolfier 's salary?
  4. When is Joseph-Michel Montgolfier 's birthday?
  5. When and how did Joseph-Michel Montgolfier became famous?
  6. How tall is Joseph-Michel Montgolfier ?
  7. Who is Joseph-Michel Montgolfier 's girlfriend?
  8. List of Joseph-Michel Montgolfier 's family members?

You might intereintereststed in

  1. Top 20 Inventor celebrities in British
  2. Top 20 Inventor celebrities in England
  3. Top 20 Inventor celebrities in France
  4. Top 20 Inventor celebrities in United States