A Travers le Transvaal

Léo Dex was the pseudonym of the brillant and distinguished aeronautical engineer Edouard-Léopold-Joseph Deburaux, who was commander of a company of hot-air balloonists attached to the French Army’s First Corps of Engineers. Under his given name, he wrote many books and papers on the possible uses of hot-air balloons for exploration and warfare. His grand experiment in balloon exploration—sending hot-air balloons across the Sahara from Tunisia to the region of Timbuktu—ended in failure, and he died shortly thereafter.

L'Invention des Globes Aerostatiques

This copy of a 1784 tribute to the Montgolfier Brothers was owned by the author, Comte d'Imbert de La Platière. A tipped-in engraved portrait of the author appears at the end of the book. Joseph-Michel and Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier invented the globe aérostatique, a hot air balloon made of fabric and paper, and tested its flight through summer and autumn 1783 in France. The first manned, untethered flight took place in a Montgolfier balloon piloted by Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d'Arlandes on November 21, 1783 in Paris.