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|413k||The barge George Washington Parke Custis was towed, 10 November 1861 by USS Coeur de Lion from the Washington Navy Yard down the
Potomac River to a place off Mattawomen Creek where the balloon ascended over the Potomac River, making a reconnaissance of the blockade near Budd's Ferry below Mount
Vernon. Drawing in Lowe Collection at National Archives.
US Naval History and Heritage Command photo # NH 2079
|109k||Model of the Balloon carrier George Washington Parke Custis, courtesy of the Hampton Roads Naval Museum. The blue boxes housed the highly successful hydrogen generators devised by Thaddeus S.C. Lowe, that permitted the balloon to be inflated "in the field," far away from city gas supplies. Although it lacked self-propulsion, in other respects G.W.P. Custis foreshadowed 20th Century aircraft carriers, with a large, flat "flight deck" and a lower deck to store supplies and support the balloon and the hydrogen generators.||Fabio Pena|
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