BLANCHARD, [Jean Pierre].

Journal and Certificates on the Fourth Voyage of Mr. Blanchard, who ascended from the Royal Military Academy, at Chelsea, the 16th October, 1784, at 9 minutes past twelve o‘clock, and was accompanied, as far as Sunbury, by John Sheldon, Esq. Professor of Anatomy, and Fellow of the Royal Society; and, from Sunbury, continued his voyage, alone, to Rumsey, in Hampshire.

London: Printed for the Author, by Baker and Galabin… .1784

4to, 4 + 29 pages. Title a little soiled and with a small hole in the fore-edge margin. Later blue wrappers, spine of wrappers and lower corners of paper worn. Signed by Blanchard at the end of the dedication.

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH, printed in the same year by the same printers and for the same booksellers as the first edition in French. This English edition is dated 27 November at the end of the dedication; the French edition is dated “Ce Novembre”. Blanchard was one of the most celebrated of the early aeronauts. The present account is of his fourth aerial voyage, from Chelsea to Romsey, a distance of about 75 miles. In this he was accompanied by the English surgeon and anatomist John Sheldon (1752–1808). Sheldon had become much involved with early efforts at ballooning, making calculations about the gravity of the atmosphere and investigating materials for construction. He had attempted to make a balloon earlier in 1784. This voyage with Blanchard was his first ascent, but unfortunately the two had a violent argument while in the air, and so Sheldon alighted at Sunbury, while Blanchard proceeded alone to Romsey. This flight was made only two months after the first aerial voyage in England, by Lunardi. The following year Blanchard made the first balloon voyage across the English Channel with an American physician, Dr. J. Jeffries. He is also responsible for the introduction of the parachute as an adjunct to the balloon.


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