'The First Air Voyage in America', 9 January 1793.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Woodcut by Charles R Gardner, 1931. Jean-Pierre Blanchard (1753-1809) was one of the foremost balloonists of his time, and made the first ascents in a number of countries. On 9 January 1793, he made the first flight in the United States from Walnut Street Prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. This ascent took place at 10 am in the prison yard, in front of an asembly which included President George Washington (1732-1799). Blanchard, who took his dog along with him for company, rose to a height of 1200 feet (366 m) and was carried north west over the Delaware River, landing in Gloucester County, New Jersey. He had travelled 15 miles (24 km) in 46 minutes, reaching a maximum altitude of 5,813 feet (1772 m). Dimensions: 438mm x 305mm.