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Blanchard’s first balloon ascent, 27 February 1784.

The Minerve, an 1837 escape to fancy SteamPunk balloon with escape pod for a woman.

So Many Hours of My Life by R Bubnis, via Flickr

Illustrations by Charley Harper - from a 1960s biology book

In 1863 and 1864, eight former slaves toured the northern states to raise money for impoverished African-American schools in New Orleans; four children with mixed-race ancestry and pale complexions were deliberately included to evoke sympathy from white northerners. Photographs of Charles Taylor, Rebecca Huger, Rosina Downs, and Augusta Broujey were mass-produced and sold as part of the campaign.