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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.
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