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The Piccard Gondola

The Piccard Gondola was the centerpiece of the "greatest human drama ever" when Dr. Auguste Piccard and his team tried to break the world altitude record by hydrogen-filled balloon at the 1933 exposition, A Century of Progress. The attempt failed, but Piccard later set the mark at 61,237 feet.

The craft also set a record in 1934 when chemist Dr. Jeannette Piccard, wife of Dr. Jean Piccard (the twin brother of Auguste), piloted the gondola to a height of 57,579 feet above sea level and became the first woman to ascend into the stratosphere. The craft was retired to the Museum of Science and Industry in 1935.