A Narrative of the Two Aerial Voyages of Dr Jeffries & Mons Blanchardi

A Narrative of the Two Aerial Voyages of Dr Jeffries & Mons Blanchardi

Code: 10150


 Jeffries (John), A Narrative of the Two Aerial Voyages of Doctor Jeffries with Mons. Blanchard; with Meteorological Observations and Remarks. The First Voyage, on the Thirtieth of November, 1784, from London into Kent: the Second, on the Seventh of January, 1785, from England into France.
Stipple-engraved frontispiece portrait by Caroline Watson after F. Russell, and a view showing the column erected in France to commemorate the second voyage, 4to 11 1/4 x 8 3/4 in.; 285 x 222 mm, original plain blue wrappers, uncut.(some spotting) preserved in a half calf box, gilt-stamped title on spine; London: Printed for the Author, 1786

Garrison-Morton 2137.2; Norman 1159; J. Milbank, First Century of Flight in America (1943), pp. 6, 10--16; J.E. Hodgson, History of Aeronautics in Great Britain (1924), pp. 167—170

Jeffries, a physician, was born in Boston (1744--1819), attended Harvard and earned a medical degree in Aberdeen, Scotland. When the Revolution broke out he was among the British army in the Savannah and Charleston campaigns. He returned to England after the war and became interested in aero station. 'He seems to have been the first to attempt to gather scientific data of the free air. His observations were made with care, and since he had sufficient means, he was able to secure instruments of high grade. His flights were made with the French aeronaut Blanchard, who received distinguished honours, but it was Jeffries who paid the bills, accepted the responsibility, and made the observations'.

This work documents their two ascents, one over London on 30 November 1784, and the other across the English Channel on 7 January 1785; both were made for scientific purposes and their results were presented to the Royal Society. Jeffries brought an array of scientific instruments to make observations of temperature, air pressure and humidity. Jeffries Narrative documents 'the first flight by a physician, the first crossing of the English channel by balloon, and the first international flight' (Garrison-Morton).