Crosbie, Richard
Richard Crosbie spent much of his childhood devising peculiar contraptions at his family home in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow. By 1783, he was a student at Trinity College, Dublin, listening to the tale of two Frenchmen who spent 25 minutes elevated in the sky within the basket of a hot air balloon.
Crosbie vowed he would one day cross the Irish Sea. His vehicle of choice would be a rubberised silk-covered balloon, filled with hydrogen.
To raise funds for his adventure, Crosbie held an exhibition in Ranelagh Gardens in Dublin. For a small fee, the public was invited to examine both his balloon and the "aeronautic chariot" which would carry himself, his equipment, his scientific instruments and the ballast.