John Jeffries, US balloonist

John Jeffries, US balloonist

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Credit: COLLECTION ABECASIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: John Jeffries (1744-1819). 1867 illustration of the US physician, meteorologist and balloon aviation pioneer Dr John Jeffries. 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. His observations were passed to the Royal Society. The first flight was from London to Dartford, the second in 1785 making the first aerial crossing of the English Channel.

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