Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão
BRAZIL, 1929-30, Gusmão's portrait and monument, Scott C22, C17
Bartolomeu Lourenço de Gusmão was born in Santos, Brazil, then a Portuguese colony. At the age of 15 he entered the Jesuits, but left soon afterwards. He attended the Jesuit school in Bahia and the University at Coimbra where he studied physics and mathematics. He took up the idea of a lighter-than-air craft, described by Fr. Francesco Lana-Terzi, SJ, but used hot air rather than the vacuum Lana had suggested. His first attempt on 8 August 1709 in the presence of King John V of Portugal was a success although it alarmed the servants who doused the balloon in fear that the house would catch fire. According to an eyewitness the balloom was constructed of thick paper, and fire material was in an earthenware bowl suspended beneath. This is long before the "first hot air balloon" of the Montgolfier brothers in 1783. Gusmão is rumored to have flown in a larger balloon himself, but lacking proof of that credit for manned flight must be given elsewhere. More
(KYRGYZSTAN), 2000, Gusmão is one of nine stamps on a mini-sheet of historical hot air balloons
The Michel catalogue, however, reports that these stamps are not authorized by Kyrgyzstan and are not postally valid.
PORTUGAL, 1983, Scott 1581, and its FDI cancel
BRAZIL, 1985, the 3rd centenary of his birth, Scott 2040 and its FDI cancel
PORTUGAL, 1986, special show cancel
BRAZIL, 2009, special show cancel marking the 3rd centenary of the first balloon flight.