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Channel Crossing Biography

This page provides additional information for images displayed on Dover Museum's online image collection.

Below is a list of the first channel crossings by various unusual means:

1862  First crossing on a bale of straw:  William Hoskins

1867  First crossing by canoe:  John MacGregor

1876  First crossing by 'levitation':  Ralph Stott (in a hoax machine using a mystery power supply, in an attempt to con investors).

1878  First crossing on water-skis:  F.Fowler, USA.

1883  First crossing by bicycle:  Terah Terry (tricycle mounted on canoe body).

1894  First crossing by Welsh Coracle:  Dr. Douglas.

1903  First crossing by kite:  S. F. Cody (Texas), in a boat dragged across the channel by a kite.

1935  First crossing by car:  Jakob Baulig & Dr. W. Pickel (Germany), an amphibious car.

1949  First crossing by performing seal:  An American radio stunt (the seal took 5 hours)

1961  First crossing by bed:  Bob Platten, on an iron bedstead slung on fuel tank floats, (6 hrs. 45 mins.)

1962  First crossing by tandem: Ronald Brooks & James Wood; tandem mounted on floats (7 hrs. 50 mins.)

1963  First crossing by tractor: David Tapp; 3 ton amphibious tractor (7 hrs. 50 mins).

1963  First crossing by barrel:  Bob Platten (fitted with outboard motor)

1965  First crossing by gin bottle: Bob Platten, (sponsored by Gilbey's Gin)

1969  First crossing by shoe: Bob Platten (sponsored by British Leather)

1976  First crossing by sofa:   a three-piece suite on a wooden raft, powered by an outbaord motor, set out as a living room complete with a standard lamp.

1980  First crossing by windsurfer:  Paul Marklew (4 hrs, 57 mins.)

1980  First crossing by wet-bike (Jet-Bike): George Blythe

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