Innovative technologies
Flying devices and planes
Humanity dreamed of flying since its dawn; 19th century inventions made that possible.
The dream of flying became a reality in the 19th and the first quarter of the 20th centuries. As early as 1853 a passenger-carrying glider was built successfully. The first steam-powered craft was built in 1894. This was closely followed by the achievements of the Wright brothers in 1903. With the invention of steam and internal combustion engines it became possible to control flight in devices heavier than the air. As with every other technological invention, flying devices were put to use in military actions. The first country to use them was Italy during the Italian–Turkish war in 1911–12. The beautiful dream of flying became a nightmare for some. World War 1 served as a test arena for aeroplanes.
In the year 2000: The tennis lawn; the eaglet hunters; on the road to London (Pas-de-Calais)

19th century

National Library of France , Paris, France

The French popular imagination was captured by the dream of flying. As usual during periods of great transformations, people saw the world as moving in a continuous, optimistic progress. It was very common to imagine the future as a science fiction novel.

See Database entry for this item

In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
Innovative technologies
Postal services and telecommunications
Water: The fount of all life