Today in History: Air Balloons & Airships

Today in History–February 8–the Library of Congress celebrates the birth of writer Jules Verne, born on this date in 1828, by featuring air balloons and airships. Around the time Verne’s first book–Five Weeks in a Balloon–came out in 1863, the U.S. Army was using hydrogen gas balloons in Civil War reconnaissance missions. See what you can learn about air balloons and airships by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links below. You might also be interested in this 1907 silent film: A little “Jules Verne”.

Air balloon images

Air balloon sheet music

Bird’s-eye view of San Francisco, Cal., from a balloon

Airship images

Airships Past & Present 1908

More articles & books related to airships

Airship front-page historic newspaper articles

Airship sheet music

Balloons primary source set

Who Were the First to Fly? Meet the Ballooning Brothers Minerva’s Kaleidoscope

Up, Up, and Away with 19th Century Science Books for Children Inside Adams June 22, 2020

Topics in Chronicling America – Civil War Ballooning (1861-1864)

Civil War Aeronautics Inside Adams July 27, 2011

The Aeronauts Inside Adams May 18, 2013

Civil War Aeronauts: Exploring 19th Century Technology Innovation with Photographs, Manuscripts and Newspapers Teaching with the Library of Congress April 27, 2021