Last week I viewed the Zoom symposium on war and postal innovation put on by the Spellman Museum of Stamps and Postal History, specifically the segment on the Paris Balloon Post of 1870-71 by Steven Walske. Thus bolstered with a good, concise and interesting explication, I ventured last night to explain to my wife Balloon Mail, illustrated with a cover I'd bought back in December as a little Christmas present for myself to tuck into my French airmail album as a custom first page.
To my delight she was quite enthusiastic about this piece of postal history and the inventiveness and adventure of the whole enterprise. She did ask how much it cost, but thought the $130 plus buyers premium reasonable for such a neat little survivor from a perilous journey in 1870.
It was carried on L'Archimede, the 27th official post office balloon and so I gave a dramatic reading of the pilot's account of his voyage which is quoted in Louis Chaintrier, Balloon Post of the Siege of Paris 1870-71
. The pilot was an utter novice aeronaut! Imagine!
A nice moment to share my enthusiasm with my spouse.
Even let her handle it!
Since we all like pictures, here are recto and verso. The stamp is Yvert 29B on Gazette des Absents
Not sure I can get her as enthusiastic about Washington Franklins, but I'll take what I can get....