Jean-Pierre Francois Blanchard, French aeronaut, 1785.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by J Newton after an original work by R Livesay of Blanchard (1753-1809) the 'first aerial Mariner'. Blanchard ascended by balloon from the Champ de Mars in Paris, remaining airborn for almost 2 hours on 2 March 1784. Blanchard, one of the foremost balloonists of his time, was renowned for his ballooning exploits in Europe. On 7 January 1785 he and the American Dr John Jeffries became the first balloonists to cros the English Channel. Later, on 9 January 1793, Blanchard made the first balloon flight in the USA. Blanchard also invented the parachute, but was killed during practice parachute jumps from a balloon. From the Penn Gaskell Collection at the Science Museum, London. Dimensions: 209.5mm x 235mm.