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The Great Balloon from a sketch by Robert Hollond Esq.

 Digital Record
Identifier: VBI_000120


  • Creation: c. 1836


Conditions Governing Use

Access to the Theodore Newton Vail Collection of Aeronautical Images, Broadsides and Clippings is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

Biographical / Historical

Robert Hollond, T. Monck Mason, and Charles Green ascended in the Vauxhall Balloon from Vauxhall Gardens at one o’clock in the afternoon on November 7, 1836, and descended in Weilburg in Nassau, at seven thirty the next morning. Following this journey, the balloon became known as the Nassau Balloon. The city of Liege in Belgium was among those passed during the night. The details of this trip are written in Monck Mason’s "Aeronautica" (1838).

Charles Green (1785-1870) was one of the 19th century’s most celebrated aeronauts. He made over 500 ascents in his career, primarily in his native England. These ascents included the first voyage in a balloon filled with coal-gas. Most of Green’s ascents were made in his Royal Vauxhall Balloon, built in August, 1836. Among these was the 18 hour, 480 mile journey from Vauxhall Gardens in London to Nassau in Germany. Charles Green was also involved in the tragic death of amateur parachutist Robert Cocking, whose fatal descent was made from the Nassau balloon piloted by Green. He retired from ballooning in 1852.

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Originals

Box 5

Physical Description

Art on Paper


28.0 x 21.0 cm

General Note

Engraving of the Great Nassau Balloon with three aeronauts (Robert Hollond, T. Monck Mason, and Charles Green) sitting in its basket. Caption below image: The Great Balloon / From a Sketch by Robert Hollond, Esqre.

Sources used for Biographical/Historical note

Crouch, Tom D., The Eagle Aloft, Two Centuries of the Balloon in America (Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C., 1983), 178.

Hodgson, J.E., History of Aeronautics in Great Britain (Oxford University Press, London, 1924), 241-262.

Rolt, L.T.C., The Aeronauts: A History of Ballooning 1783-1903 (Walker, New York, 1966), 118, 121-130.

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

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