John Jefferies, US balloonist

John Jefferies, US balloonist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Jefferies (1744-1819), US physician, meteorologist and balloon aviation pioneer. Jefferies was a British military surgeon during the American Revolution. In London, in 1784, he made a scientific study of the air at high levels. He approached French balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard and (with a barometer, thermometer, hygrometer, electrometer, and mariner's compass) they made two flights: London to Dartford, and the 1785 first aerial crossing of the English Channel. 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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