Lighter-than-air flight grew out of the scientific revolution. Studies of atmospheric physics during the 17th century culminated in Robert Boyle’s description of the relationship between volume, temperature, and pressure and inspired lighter-than-air flight.
Chemists in the 18th century began identifying the gases in our atmosphere. Once hydrogen was isolated, the idea of filling a bag with this light gas followed naturally. The inventors of the balloon based their work on the scientific method, a new concept.