SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lunardi's balloon. Historical artwork of the hydrogen balloon ascent made in England by the Italian Vincenzo Lunardi (1759-1806), on 15 September 1784, the first ever balloon ascent in the UK. On this ascent, Lunardi experimented with the use of oar-like devices for steering, but one of them broke (lower left). This ascent was made in front of a large crowd of around 100,000, including the Prince of Wales, at London's Royal Artillery Ground at Finsbury. Lunardi ascended high enough to rise above the clouds, and landed several kilometres north of London. Lunardi went on to make many more balloon flights in England, Scotland, Italy, Spain and Portugal. Artwork from Astra Castra (Hatton Turner, London, 1865).
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