'Mr Glaisher's Voyage', 5 September 1862.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Crayon drawing showing the scientific balloon ascent made by the English meterologist James Glaisher (1809-1903) on 5 September 1862. In his efforts to determine the nature of the upper atmosphere, Glaisher persuaded the British Association for the Advancement of Science to sponsor a research programme using balloons. The BAAS employed English aeronaut Henry Coxwell (1819-1900) to build a large balloon for the series of ascents from the Wolverhampton Gas Works in the West Midlands. On the final ascent on 5 September, the balloon, which was christened 'The Mammoth' and had a capacity of 90,000 cubic feet, reached a height of 37,000 feet (11,278 m), breaking the altitude record and making Glaisher and Coxwell the first men to enter the stratosphere.