Oil painting by E W Cocks (painted c 1840) showing Blanchard's balloon leaving the coast of Dover in Kent. French aeronaut, Jean-Pierre Blanchard (1753-1809), was one of the foremost balloonists of his time. Together with the American physician, Dr John Jeffries (1744-1819), he made the first aerial crosing of the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon on 7 January 1785. The balloon they used was 27 feet (8.2 m) in diameter with a gondola suspended beneath it in which to carry the aeronauts. Taking off from Dover in Kent shortly after midday, they landed in the Foret de Guines, not far from Calais, approximately four and a half hours later. Dimensions: 288mm x 372mm.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library