'The National Parachute', 1802.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 23cm x 32cm

'The National Parachute', 1802.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Alternatively titled 'John Bull conducted to plenty and emancipation', this cartoon showing two men in a parachute embraces the new posibilities provided by aerial flight. On 21 September 1802, the French aeronaut Andre Jacques Garnerin (1769-1823) made the first parachute descent in England from St George's Parade, North Audley Street, London. He ascended 10,000 feet (3048 m) in a balloon before releasing his parachute and landing in a field near St Pancras, bruised from the motion of the car but otherwise unhurt. Published by H Humphrey of 27 St James' Street on 10 July 1802. Dimensions: 356mm x 254mm.

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