Blanchard's first balloon flight, 1784

Blanchard's first balloon flight, 1784

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Blanchard's first balloon flight. 19th-century illustration of the 2 March 1784 balloon ascent by French balloonist Jean Pierre Blanchard (1753-1809) from the Champs de Mars, Paris, France. Blanchard's balloon had 'oars' which were intended to be used to 'row' to La Villette, but the devices were ineffective and the balloon was pushed by the wind across the River Seine and back again. Blanchard crossed the Channel by balloon in 1785, and held many national records for first balloon flights. Artwork from 'Aerostation - Aviation' (1911) by French civil engineer Max de Nansouty (1854-1913), part of the 'Les merveilles de la science' series of 1867-1891 by Louis Figuier.

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