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Percival G Spencer

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Nationality  United Kingdom
Died  April 11, 1913
Name  Percival Spencer
Spouse(s)  Mary Ann Coleman
Known for  Pioneer aviator

Born  11 November 1864 (1864-11-11) Islington, London, England
Occupation  Manager of balloon manufacturer
Children  four daughters and one son

Percival Green Spencer (11 November 1864, Islington, London, England – 11 April 1913, Highbury, London) was a British pioneering balloonist and parachutist.

Spencer was part of the third generation of a family of professional balloonists. He was the eldest son of Charles Green Spencer (1837–1880), who was the son of Edward Spencer (1799–1849). Edward Spencer, a solicitor, was a friend and trusted assistant of the noted balloonist Charles Green, ascending with Green 27 times and soloing 40 times. Charles Spencer founded the balloon manufacturing firm of C. G. Spencer & Sons. All five of Percival's siblings also followed the family profession. He and his brothers Arthur (1866–1940) and Stanley (1868–1906) were considered the leading authorities on ballooning.

Percival first ascended in a balloon at the age of eight with his father over the Crystal Palace. In a November 1909 letter to the editor of Flight magazine, he claimed to have made eight "Cross-Sea Balloon Voyages", often with passengers. His February 1898 crossing from England to France, accompanied by Pearson's Magazine journalist George Griffith, was reported in The New York Times.

On 19 March 1889, he made the first successful balloon flight in India. Ram Chandra Chatterjee took lessons from him and flew with him on 10 April, becoming the first Indian aeronaut to fly solo later that same month.

The same year, Spencer was the first to parachute safely in Ireland, at Drumcondra.

Family life

Spencer married Mary Anne Coleman in 1892. They had four daughters and a son. His wife died in 1905. Spencer died at his home at Aberdeen Park, Highbury on 11 April 1913, after contracting bronchial pneumonia.


Percival G. Spencer Wikipedia