On 4 June 1783, Joseph Michel and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier captured the imagination of the world with their first balloon flight at Cordeliers Square. There were no passengers, but the Regional Council and the whole town population saw the machine go up and stay aloft at 500 meters for ten minutes. The scientific world raced to make use of the Montgolfiers’ discovery, and all accomplishments made since then by aeronauts, aviators, and astronauts can be traced directly to this site.
It took 22 years to complete the 35-mile waterway, as funding problems caused the work to shut down from 1777 to 1785.
The notion of creating a canal that crossed Scotland was conceived in the 17th century during the reign of Charles II, but would not be realized for nearly 100 years. The Forth and Clyde Canal, known as The Great Canal in its early years, was the first major transportation project in Scotland and the world's first man-made, sea-to-sea ship canal.