The Dream of Flying

Page 14




  De Bacqueville (1742 )  
  Jean-François Boyvin de Bonnetot, Marquis de Bacqueville (1688 – 1760) tried to fly over the River Seine in Paris in 1742.

On the 19th of March, he took off from the roof of the Hotel de Bouillon at the corner of Rue des Saints-Pères at Quai Théâtins (today Quai Voltaire). With wings attached to the arms and legs, he glided over the river before hitting a washerwoman’s barge and breaking his legs.

Note that the flyer was not a youth any longer when he made his attempt.

The philosopher Rousseau was one of the many spectators. Rousseau wrote the same year an article about the “human bird”. The title was "Le Nouveau Dédale" ("The New Daedalus").

The “paddle wings” on the illustration below are certainly too small a scale of the wings used by de Bacqueville.

  De Bacqueville flies over the Seine. Image Lars Henriksson,  


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© Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13