This is a picture of Henry Giffard's balloon. From the people that can bee seen in the picture, you can see that this is an enormous balloon. Giffard was one of the pioneers of ballooning, and this picture was taken in 1878 in Paris. Notice the huge gondola beneath the balloon. This appears to be sort of an Amusement Park style ride. To the left of the balloon under the canopy is a large cable mechanism. The balloon remained tethered, and would allow riders to go up in the gondola, enjoy spectacular aerial views of Paris, and then be pulled back to the ground by the cables. Amazing technology for this day and age.