Medal issued in 1858 to commemorate the flight of Coppin's Balloon. On 1 February 1858 the people of Melbourne witnessed a flight of the 'Australasian', a gas-powered balloon piloted by English aeronaut Joseph Dean and imported by George Coppin. It rose from Coppin (Cremorne) Gardens, on the north bank of the Yarra, to a height of three thousand feet, flew for half an hour and landed in Heidelberg Road. It was heralded as Australia's first human flight.

Although hailed at Australia's first human flight, it is possible that a balloon actually bore another aeronaut, William Green, aloft in Ballarat the previous month, as part of celebrations for the visit of Victorian Governor Sir Henry Barkly. The flight was prepared but was never reported in the papers, perhaps because co-owner of Cremorne Gardens, Gustavus Vaughan Brooke, had local influence and prevented the flight being reported. His partner Coppin had every intention of facilitating the first flight himself.

Physical Description

A white metal medal (38 mm diameter) featuring Coppin's Balloon in flight with two people.

Obverse Description

At centre a balloon, above on broad border, COPPIN'S BALLOON; across centre of balloon AUSTRALASIAN

Reverse Description

At centre, AEROSTATIC / MEDAL; around on broad border, CREMORNE GARDENS * VICTORIA 1858 *

Edge Description


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