1840: A Pioneering Flight in the Skies Above Canada

August 10, 1840

American aeronaut Louis Anselm Lauriat traveled in his hydrogen balloon Star of the East in the skies above the present-day Canadian province of New Brunswick. This excursion was the first piloted flight in Canada. At that time, New Brunswick was a British colony; in 1867, it became one of the four original provinces of the Dominion of Canada.

By the time he made that flight at the age of 54, Boston resident Lauriat had already established himself as one of the best-known aeronauts in the northeastern United States. After traveling to New Brunswick via the steamship North American, Lauriat began his pioneering ascent in Star of East at the colony’s seaport city of Saint John.

The balloon attained a speed of 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) per hour up in the air during that journey. Lauriat’s flight came to an end when his balloon landed about 21.8 miles (35 kilometers) from Saint John.

Image Credit: Public Domain

Additional information on Louis Anselm Lauriat’s trailblazing flight in Canada is available at http://casmuseum.techno-science.ca/doc/research/casm/e_Ballons.pdf

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