National Postal Museum logo
Top Image
Pilot StoriesHistoric PlanesAirmail Creates an IndustryObject ShowcaseHistory TimelineActivity ZoneFlight School
Stamps and Covers
>> US Airmail Stamps
>> US Airmail Stamped Envelopes
>> US Airmail Postcards
>> Contract Airmail Routes (CAMs)
>> Balloon and Zeppelin
>> Foreign Airmail Routes (FAMs)
>> Envelopes from Early Airmail Flights
>> Highlight Flights of the 20th Century
>> Crash Covers
>> Experimental Flight
Airmail Miscellany

OBJECT SHOWCASE: Balloon and Zeppelin Mail

Envelope carried out of Paris during the 1870 siege in a balloon
Envelope carried out of Paris during the 1870 siege in the balloon "Colonel Charras." The balloon left Paris on October 29 at noon, descended at 5:00 p.m. that afternoon 308 kilometers away at Montigny-le-Roi, Haute-Marne. The balloon, piloted by Mr. Gilles, carried 450 kilograms of mail and was made in perfect conditions, but the descent was into occupied territory. Nevertheless the balloon along with the mail and pigeons it was carrying were successfully hidden from the Germans. The mail was smuggled to Chaumont and turned over to the French Post Office on October 30, 1870.
Postal Museum | Smithsonian | Privacy | Terms of Use | Site MapBottom Navigation
Top of page link to homepage