Long before Don Cameron made Bristol famous for hot-air balloons, Patrick Alexander (1867-1943) was building and flying balloons in Bath. On 7th September 1902, he made a balloon flight from Sydney Gardens to commemorate the first Bath balloon flight 100 years earlier. The earlier flight was by Frenchman Andres-Jacques Garnerin, who was the Official Aeronaut of France.
Alexander did not use hot-air in his balloons, but coal gas. The gas came from The Bath Gas Light & Coke Company. Alexander filled his balloons using used a gas point he set up in his garden.
As well as a pioneering balloonist, he was also a meteorologist and aeronautical engineer, and he made a significant contribution to the development of flight. His biography is available for sale at the museum.
Bristol Balloon Festival is 8th to 11th August 2019