Ballooning scenes on a fan, late 18th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Ballooning scenes depicted on a fan made with light tortoiseshell carved sticks. The three painted panels illustrate: 'Ascension de Blanchard a Paris, 1784'; 'Experiences de M. M. Charles et Robert, 1783'; 'Ascension des Freres Robert 27 aout, 1783.' French aeronaut, Jean-Pierre Blanchard, with the American, Dr John Jeffries, made the first aerial crosing of the English Channel on 7 January 1785. The brothers Noel and Jean Robert, and Profesor Jacques Charles, made the first manned hydrogen balloon flight on 1 December 1783.