Tuesday, October 2
La Minerve - The Greatest Balloon that was Never Built
"In 1804 a French physics professor, E.G. Robertson, proposed building an 80-ton balloon. [...] Fantasy and good sense are all mixed up in his design. The gondola has seminar rooms and labs. Lady observers ride in a small separate gondola where they won't distract the scientists [!]." (Source)The giant chicken on top, incidentally, is supposed to house an observatory.
More on this wonderfully ridiculous bit of fluff from the butt-end of the supposed Age of Reason can be found here. It's hard not to love an airship with random disembodied wings, an outhouse on pulleys and its own pipe organ!