A French engineer, he was the nephew of Joseph and Etienne de Montgolfier, who became famous in 1783 for their invention of the hot-air balloon known as the mongolfier. After various voyages of study in England, he developed his activity in different fields of mechanical industry and worked with his brothers (Marc, Camille, Paul and Charles) in their steam propulsion company, while retaining however an independent position distinguished by outstanding technical creativity. In 1820 he moved to Lyon, where he opened a foundry and engaged, starting in 1826, on works for the construction of the St Etienne-Lyon railway line built by his brother Marc. Particularly important was his contribution to the realisation of bridges suspended from iron cables. With his brothers he participated, in fact, in building a great number of these structures in France, Spain and Italy. Between 1835 and 1837, working with his brother Marc, he built two bridges suspended from iron hawsers in Florence, the San Ferdinando Bridge in the vicinity of San Niccolò and the San Leopoldo one at the Cascine Park, which became the model for all of the other suspended bridges designed and built by the Lorraine engineers for the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.
Last update 25/feb/2008