Today's picture shows the gondola of Giffard's Balloon we have been discussing the last few days. This picture also was taken in 1878, and it shows how the general public could purchase a ticket and go aloft to see spectacular views of paris from the air. From this picture it looks like the balloon could accommodate literally dozens of passengers at a time. Given that the balloon remained tethered, it was retrieved by cables which remained connected to the balloon. Hence, the balloon was pulled down without the need to vent the precious lifting gas. I would imagine this system would allow many flights per day. Also, since the gas was not vented, I would imagine a ride could be somewhat affordable. I was not able to find how long these rides lasted, or what they cost.