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Scrapbooking and Balloonomania in the late 18th and early 19th centuries

Scrapbooking and Balloonomania in the late 18th and early 19th centuries

This exhibit compares Sarah Sophia Banks’s ballooning scrapbook housed at the British Library with a similar scrapbook from the Huntington Library's Aeronautica Collection of prints and ephemera in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Featuring illustrations, handbills, poems, and newspaper clippings from the "balloonomania" craze, this exhibit highlights the scientific endeavors of sensational figures like Italian aeronout, Vincent Lunardi and French Balloonist, Jean Pierre Blanchard, while examining the unique perspective of Sarah Sophia Banks on the phenomena and spectacle of hot air ballooning linked to discovery, recreation, disaster, performance, public life, and gender within Romantic scientific inquiry.

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