The history of “balloon mail”
The French Post Office is going to honor the great history of “balloon mail”, i.e. gas balloons carrying mail by air for the first time. On November 5., 2020, La Poste Group will issue a stamp reminding that during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, balloons were used to transport mail. A tradition that has been perpetuated with airplanes and the famous French Aeropostale, but also during numerous hot-air balloon and gas balloon events in France and around the world. History shall remember that it was in Metz (Moselle) that 24 balloons took off at the beginning of September 1870, from the heart of the city surrounded by the Prussians to carry away letters. The process has been nicknamed the “butterflies of Metz”. Then on October 7 of the same year, Léon Gambetta took off from the heart of Paris with bags of mail.
For those who visit the Pilâtre de Rozier Aeromuseum on the Chambley airfield, don’t miss to discover the very nice collection of stamps and letters carried by balloons.