Albert Ploof was an early pioneer in the field of haberdaeronics, and celebrated throughout Europe, despite the fact that his mother was Jewish and his father was a mime. He entertained throughout the courts of Europe, telling of plans to conquer one of the great mysteries of time — can man fly using only a hat?
After the success of the Wright Brothers in 1903, he was commanded by the Belgian king, Leopold II, to find a way for a man to fly, using only the power of science.
“May I also include a hat?” Ploof asked his king.
“Of course. I thought the hat went without saying. The hat’s fucking OBVIOUS!”
This photograph was taken shortly before his inaugural flight — to get better lift, Ploof opted to launch from the highest point in Belgium, the Signal de Botrange. At 718 meters altitude, Ploof believed he would have enough acceleration to fly. Unfortunately, the tower was only six meters off the ground, so all he did was break his legs.