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Blanchard and Jeffries

 Digital Record
Identifier: VBI_000360


  • Creation: c. 1818


Conditions Governing Use

Access to the Theodore Newton Vail Collection of Aeronautical Images, Broadsides and Clippings is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

Biographical / Historical

Jean-Pierre Francois Blanchard and John Jeffries, an American doctor, made the first trip across the English Channel in a hydrogen balloon on January 7, 1785. The balloon ascended from a cliff top near Dover Castle and descended in Calais 2.5 hours later.

During this trip, the balloon unexpectedly lost gas and almost fell into the Channel. Only by throwing all of their ballast and most of their clothing into the Channel did they manage to stay in the air. The two aeronauts were forced to heave all cargo overboard except the package of the first international airmail, delivered successfully upon their safe landing in the Felmores Forest, France.

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Originals

Box 16

Physical Description



2 pages; 17.2 x 10.3 cm

General Note

Page from “The Juvenile Tourist; or, Excursions into the west of England” by John Evans, describing Jean-Pierre Francois Blanchard and John Jeffries' ascent from Dover to Calais. At the bottom of the page and the top of the verso is an excerpt from the poem "The Loves of the Plants" from The Botanic Garden (1789) by Erasmus Darwin [grandfather of Charles]. Handwritten over the top paragraph on the page: “Juvenile Tourist By John Evans of Islington.”

General Note

Juvenile Tourist

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US